Sunday 25 October 2020

Yesnaby once more.

 Lovely light...

Big waves....


Now thinking this is Lycoperdon utriforme, or maybe another Lycoperdon.

Hydrocybe chlorophana maybe.

Hydrocybe punicea maybe?

Same again, perhaps.

Friday 23 October 2020

... and Blogger is driving me a bit nuts.

 Hey, Blogger fix this. Very annoying, sometimes you can't post the next picture. Trouble with the last post, so trying to add the last bits here. Seems best to add the captions as a final edit.

Another fungi, Candlesnuff, smart little thing. Thanks to LJ for confirming and MS for getting me on the right track (unknown to him but bumped into the ID on his blog).

Xylaria hypoxylon.

Also, spent some time yesterday getting pictures of Rooks and the rookery.

Today I eventually wandered down to Loch of Bosquoy via the dead swan in the field which now contains four rams. The swan had gone into the powerlines, a not uncommon cause of death here. I couldn't see from the road if it was Mute or Whooper and anyway maybe there might be some beetles. 

On the way I came across a stoat, hopefully the new traps will deal with these, I reckon they have done for quite a few wader and duck broods this year.

Down at the loch I walked up to a Mute that I thought wasn't very well. I'd flushed the Wigeon and Snipe that were all around it, a photo opportunity with the wide angle lens though, I walked up to it within a few feet. It woke up as I pressed the shutter, not sure which of us was more surprised.

The two Goosander were still at the loch and there were a couple of Jack Snipe amongst the Snipe.

Walking back up the track I cam across this Ruby Tiger cat.

Ruby Tiger

Oh, and it's raining again...

On the virus - this is interesting -

And this series of programmes is very informative.

It stopped raining, for a day.

Orkney is a place with changeable weather, it doesn't often get stuck, so three days of rain is not that common an occurence. Yesterday dawned bright and sunny and calm and around the middle of the day we headed for Yesnaby.

There was a cloud of flying insects in the still conditions.


Carabus arvensis.

I was so pleased to find this beetle and such a smart beastie.

Also quite a few fungi.

Lycoperdon lividum maybe?

Not sure what this is but I like the springtails in and around it.

Another I don't know.

Scottish Primrose, over.


Back at home I'd found a few other fungi species:

Coprinopsis micaceus I think.

Nectria cimnabarina

Dead Man's Fingers, Xylaria polymorpha or Dead Moll's Fingers, Xylaria longipes.  

Tuesday 20 October 2020

On Greeny Hill.

 We walked up Greeny Hill as the weather came in. It's not far from home but we'd never been up here before. Great views of much of the West Mainland. I need to come up on a day with better light, or come early in the morning, it might be good during an aurora.

The Brough of Birsay, beyond Loch of Boardhouse. from Greeny Hill on flat, grey day.

I've finally discovered how Blogger is working now and why I was having trouble with captions for photos, hopefully problem solved. I'll need to go back through some posts and recaption the photos I guess. More of a problem on the 104 page. I think Blogger are refining the features on new Blogger every now and again, alternatively it is just my incompetence. Listening to more music, so expect more additions to the page, much enjoying Jools' interviews and the trucking through his back catalogue. Not much there for the 104 page, except this week with Paloma Faith, unexpectedly. This has led me to listening to Benjamin Clemantine again, I Tell a Fly is an interesting listen. The programme also led me, obtusely,  to revist Salif Keita, I've not listened for a long time. Anyway, some music added (104, see top of page) last week and more to come now. 

Covid-19 restrictions impacting on my private life. The disease has not really appeared much here, but we are subject to the same restrictions as much of the rest of Scotland, not the Central Belt though. On the whole that seems sensible. I tend not to write about this stuff, but I find the politics of the disease fascinating. I worry, as I agree to an extent (an extent = a little) with some back bench Tories. That must be a first. The disease does make you evaluate your politics, what's important? For me it would be civil liberties and our hard one freedoms; equality, in the sense that sectors of society are not more disadvantaged than others; economics, in that we cannot put the next generations in permanent austerity, they're going to have enough to cope with dealing with climate change; safety, but not at the expense of the other three; environment, and ecological security, over-arching each of the previous four. Talking to people it is often surprising, knowing their politics, where they stand. The statistics of the disease are especially interesting, I particularly like this for a bit of clarity and reassurance - - . 

Being older, I find the predicament of the care homes concerning. We are imprisoning people who have done nothing wrong, and there are significant numbers of inhabitants of these new prisons who would rather take the risk and live life, be it more briefly. Somewhere quality of life appears to have been exchanged for longevity as a value. The oft repeated "following the science" mantra strikes me as bizarre looking at the mish-mash of illogical inconsitencies in the measures imposed across the UK. Some of that is political and not for disease control. However, I entirely get the dangers for the NHS, you only have to watch the documentaries about how things were in northern Italy for that time earlier in the year to understand the real fears. Easy to criticise, hard to be the people who make the decisions. (Keeping in mind that they will want to be re-elected/elected at some point in the future.) Better shut up now before the waters deepen and the shore becomes more distant.


There continue to be at least 50 Brambling around the house with up to 35 or more under and around the feeders at any time. They are especially keen on the Niger seed I throw on the floor next to the Rosa rugosa. In the 1km there has been a Jack Snipe, some Fieldfare movement and a nice selection of duck suddenly took up on The Shunan and have stuck.

Further afield I've seen Grey Plover, Red Grouse, a late Bonxie and a few other bits and bats. At Yesnaby I came across two Snow Geese, most likely the ones that have been touring South Ronaldsay and East Mainland. There were 70 or so Barnacle Geese with them amongst a vast flock of Greylags. The next day 60 Barnacle Geese went over Howaback, a site record.

Snow Geese and Barnacles at Yesnaby.

Some of the 60 Barnacles over Howaback, a site record number (previous - 2). The same day there were 57 Woodpigeons there,also a site record number.

I've ceased moth trapping for now. Three moths and then one from all three traps seemed to indicate time to call it a night for now. If we get a bit of a temperature bump then it will be worth trying for some of the later species but I'd be better occupied wandering the night with a torch.

There have been quite a few late hoverflies and one found at Hobbister appears to be Eupeodes luniger. I initially, carelessly misidentified it as E. corollae. I didn't look carefully enough at the abdominal markings. To get to E. luniger it is necessary to judge the angle of the point the eyes join (this being a male) a difficult thing to judge as the angle of observation, or photograph, impacts on the apparent angle of join, but I think the eyes meet at around 70 degrees and not 90 or so.

Eupeodes luiger.

Thanks to RM for picking out my error on iRecord.

Eupeodes luniger.  

Some photographs from some of our walks last week.

I couldn't figure out what this fibre glass vehicle was, too small for a Trabant.

Eristalis tenax.

These all from near Loch of Wasdale.  

Waukmill Beach.

And from around the garden.

Mucilago crustacea.

Trametes versicolor.

Rosebay Willowherb.

Click above for the link, N.B. starts with adverts - Tim speaks eventually....