Thursday 8 August 2019

Flaming Nora... naming flora

National Dragonfly Week began on Saturday 20th July this year. My tentative plans to arrange a walk for the Orkney Field Club, in Hoy, on that day were put on hold for a couple of reasons:

1. The weather was rubbish for spotting dragonflies;
2. I hadn't even seen a dragonfly in Orkney during 2019.

Undaunted, I postponed the walk until the following Thursday, to allow the weather to improve and perhaps a few extra days would see a few more adult insects emerging. Meantime, Our Lass and I found ourselves with a free Saturday, so went to Hoy anyway, but more in hope than expectation.

Indeed, here's the view from the ferry as we sailed by Hoy Sound Low Light on Graemsay.

What's that phrase I bandy about like confetti... oh yeah... 'sub-optimal conditions'.

How and ever, the day was not a complete washout, as we were really pleased to find all manner of wild flowers, some of which I didn't recognise and had to spend a goodly while trying to ID.

Yellow Saxifrage

Great Sundew

Follow the Yellow Sprig Road (Bog Asphodel)

C'mon, Tense, admit it, the weather's just pants

A rather orange and conical fungus

Grass of Parnassus and a Red Ant

Eggar Moth caterpillar munching on a trefoil

Rackwick beach in all its dull-skied, midge-laden, Hamnavoe-spotting beauty and majesty

Well, it was turning into something of a botanical day. Juniper berries

Stone Bramble

A white Selfheal (which I spent ages staring at, before the penny dropped)

Field Gentian

A male Stonechat

A female Stonechat
By this point, the cloud had lifted a little, and our ramble had taken us to the RSPB's Eaglewatch site, where we spent a happy hour staring at a White-tailed Eagle chick, willing her to take her first flight. Reader, she did not.

To sum up, total odonatological interest for the day was one brief sighting of a Large Red Damselfly, but we felt more than compensated by all the floral encounters.


Mark said...

I keep seeing several species of Odes by the river between Five Mile Bridge and Bardney, yet they will not land! Is there any reason fir this? Surely they must land some time? On the up side Butterflying has been grand - silver washed and marsh fritillaries, brown hairstreaks and white admirals on the same day!!!

Imperfect and Tense said...

If the weather's warm and sunny, odes can seem to have boundless energy. They are likely to be males, either patrolling a territory or looking for a mate (or possibly just foraging). I am rather envious of your flutter sightings!

Coastal Ripples said...

Thank you for all the plant id’s. Sub optimal weather, love it. Definitely sub optimal here today. Force 8 imminent. Never good when we are due a moonlight parade of flower floats this evening. B

Imperfect and Tense said...

It was rather lovely photographing things which weren't tempted to fly away 😊 Oof, gales and blooms are not ideal companions 😢 I hope it was possible to postpone the event and re-schedule it for a later date?