Friday, 12 July 2013

The Wildlife of Beinn na h-Imeilte

Bog aspodel is common across the less fertile tracts of West Ardnamurchan, but judging by the number of plants we saw on our walk last Sunday, it's a bumper year for this species.  It's very pretty, the flowers delicate and a glorious colour, but the crofters don't like it as it causes problems if sheep eat it.  There are some super picture of the flowers here, and a description of the symptoms of the sheep poisoning.

A month ago, while walking near Loch Mudle, we found a pink-flowered plant which was identified for us by an anonymous writer as lousewort.  On the slopes of Beinn ne h-Imeilte, we found it to be quite common but, amongst the pink specimens, we found this white one.  The images on Google are all of pink flowers - can anyone tell us whether the white is something special?

If the nastiest part of our walk was the steep descent off the ridge on the northeast side, the rocky, heather-covered precipice was wonderful for wildlife.  Two hinds watched our careful descent, this one peeking at us from behind a boulder, and were very reluctant to run off.

We saw six or more species of butterfly, the largest of which looked like a fritillary - but these lovely orange beasts simply refused to stay still long enough to be photographed.  This was the best shot, of one which had just taken off from a perfect pose on top of a thistle flower.  The thistles themselves were interesting, there being a dozen or so of this particular species in just one area on the slope, and none anywhere else.

Several of these magnificent dragonflies were darting around, but this one, at least, was very good about holding his pose for several minutes while his picture was taken.  It's a golden ringed dragonfly, a large species which is common across the local moorlands.

Lastly, as always, an appeal for help.  The plant with the leaves which are grey on the lower side and green above looks like mountain everlasting, but what is the succulent-like plant with the pink flowers?

1 comment:

  1. Last one - Might be a stonecrop - Caucasian stonecrop?