Perhaps my favourite place in Orkney is Yesnaby. It doesn't look much, and often the car park is quite full. There's an offroad motorcycle circuit, it doesn't look promising. But walk either north or south and within minutes you're away from the people and into a truly wild world, battered and controlled by the wind, the sea, the Sun.
Going south it takes a little time to clear the people, folk walk to the sea stacks. It's quickly not busy though.
Not far to the Primula scotica, and lots of identity defying Euphrasia (I've kind of given up on these, they're too hard, it's almost impossible to be sure of the identification due to the hybrid issue, pocket barcode kit required).
Usually Yesnaby is good for micro moths, but the day was slow for those. I went to one of my favourite little spots and found Ancistrocerus scoticus and its parasitoid, one of the ruby-tailed wasps.
And not the best image of the parasitoid.
|Chrysis sp (probably in the region of ignita).|
I wandered on, south. Two Large Heath at their usual spot.
I was intending to search for Frog Orchid. I've not seen one previously, they're tiny and I don't really know what habo they live in. There are burns that run down to the sea, I started searching around them.
First this micro, rather a good one:
|Lobesia littoralis, a seaside specialist and not especially common NFM anyway.|
|Primula scotica way south of where I've found it before.|
I was pleased with the Primula scotica, I'd not seen it in this area before.
Down on my hands and knees, not an unusual posture these days this small Diptera caught my eye.
|Herina frondescentia, another NFM.|
And then I realised I didn't recognise the plant it was on, I've still not managed to identify it.
I continued along the burn, sometimes on hands and knees. I've since discovered this is not really the right habo for Frog Orchid. However, I did find this fly.
|Most likely Tetanocera ferruginea, a common Sciomyzid. The larvae develop inside water snails.|
Six adult Arctic Skuas were present most of the afternoon, chasing around and calling, but not a Bonxie was to be seen.