The island is about half RSPB reserve, they do seem to be doing a pretty good job with acres of lovely meadow. The island is "famous" for the martyring of St Magnus who rather foolishly had agreed to meet his cousin on the island back in the 12th century. His cousin, Hackan, who was his competitor for the earldom waited until Magnus arrived as agreed with just a few men and then ambushed him with eight ships of troops. Magnus got bashed on the head, and the rest was history. Thus the kirk dedicated to St Magnus and there is a monument on the fateful spot.
Anyway, we had a wander around, just four hours between boats on a Saturday and best not miss it as there isn't another until Monday. The flowers in the meadows and along the verges were very lovely and we found a good few beasts for the bioblitz: six species of moth, Meadow Brown, two species of beetle, Silpha atrata and the whirlygig Gyrinus substriatus. There was an Ophion wasp and a Tenthredo sawfly, things I will have to send away to get an id. A few hoverflies and an Empid, a Great Spider Crab on the beach and a few other bits and bats.
It being an RSPB reserve I didn't bother to record any birds, and there was nothing out of the ordinary.
Tystie with butterfish - Pholis gunnellus
I was interested in recording this butterfish though.
Also by the sea was this tiny Greater Spider Crab corpse, Hyas araneus.
The lid is 35mm across, not a large crab.
I had to take a specimen of the whirlygig beetles, knowing there are twelve UK species but not knowing which one(s) occur here. As it happens only Gyrinus substriatus does occur, although other species are quiet possible, they key out quite nicely except for the final couplet anyway.
Slight cheat, these were photographed today in Harray, same species.
I had a good go at trying to identify this leaf miner, probably a Phytomyza fly but apparently the devil to id, I think I'll give up on that idea. On Chenopodium glaucum on the beautiful beach.
Leaf mine on Chenopodium glaucum.
Follows some of the more attractive insects we found.
Most likely Moss Carder Bee.
Depressaria radiella (Parsnip Moth)
Transport home..... maybe not