Wednesday 4 June 2014

A few holiday highlights

During our week on mainland Scotland, staying in a cottage near Aberfeldy in Perthshire, there were a few other wildlife highlights besides the Spotted Flycatcher pellet and the various damsels and dragons.

Spoiler Alert: For any arachnophobes, there's a spider at the end :o(

This Welsh Poppy, Meconopsis cambrica, in the garden of Cluny House near Aberfeldy, had two wee visitors. 

Also at Cluny House, we saw a Red Squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris, collecting moss for its drey.

It athletically moved from branch to branch, gathering a larger and larger bundle, until...

it performed a hasty dismount and was marked down for style by the Chinese judge.

Whilst in the hills above the village of Dull (yes, really), we found a Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly, Boloria euphrosyne, and...

a day-flying moth, the Speckled Yellow, Pseudopanthera macularia.

At the rented cottage, there was a regular visitor to the satellite dish, Antenna rustii, just outside our bedroom window, a Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica. Whilst this shot was taken late afternoon, he also visited every morning at 03.30, to treat us to his version of the dawn chorus, possibly the longest that I've ever heard a Swallow sing.

In the Beech-lined valley of the Birks of Aberfeldy, some of the hillside was carpeted with Bluebells, Hyacinthoides non-scriptus...

and the occasional Chickweed Wintergreen, Trientalis europaea.

In between my odo-loco moments at Keltneyburn reserve, I spotted a Silver-ground Carpet, Xanthorhoe montanata montanata

And also some Yellow Pimpernel, Lysimachia nemorum.

Lastly, and most definitely not least, this Raft Spider, Dolomedes fimbriatus, was seen in a bog pool at Garten, possibly feeding on a diving beetle.


Martin said...

I almost missed rustii and had to come back and laugh!
Your wildlife knowledge (or ability to peruse the ID guide) is profound.

Imperfect and Tense said...

The latter, Martin! Lots of books, much leafing through.

Fay McKenzie said...

Lovely photos all of them what a delightful wee break - love that 7 petalled delight - always thrills me when I see it. Seven petals, imagine, what splendor.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Hmmm, seven petals, indeed. Took me ages to ID it as I didn't realise that you don't have to key for EXACTLY seven if it's a flower that varies between 5 and 9 petals. But, yeah, it is a bit lush :o)

Fay McKenzie said...

Exactly its one weird looking member of the Primula family eh? It stumped me a while back on field work. Pesky thing.

PS the Fagus are collectively sulking without its latin name check.

Imperfect and Tense said...

LOL, life's a Beech, eh?

I was wondering whether to post a separate 'Birks' blog, what with all the Burns stuff.

Mark said...

Hi, just noticed you had a section on Butterflies. I thought the Fritillery was stunning! You did well to photograph it, I saw a pair on Lismore recently but the blinkin things wouldn't stay still enough for me to photograph them. The jet fighters of the Butterfly world! Cheers. Mark.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Hi Mark, working through my back posts?! You've got it bad, eh?

Aye, not so many butterfly posts these days, but there's a thriving moth group up here. It's just a shame that I struggle to stay up late and don't do early mornings. Apart from that, I'm there!