I did another round of bird surveys recently. I’d be much more efficient at them if I didn’t stop to take photos all the time! Still, then I wouldn’t get to share these lovely pictures with you.
Anyway, I didn’t see as much as last time, or even hear as much. I did see meadow pipits (of course!), dippers (a new one), sandpipers (lots) and stonechats, and also heard a ring ouzel and a couple of snipe. Here are two days worth of pictures……
Bad mothering….. these poor calves’ mums ran off when I approached, leaving these darlings sleeping in the grass. Until I got closer! Much confusion ensued.
What a cutie.
Common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Another common sandpiper
Lesser Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera bifolia) – one of the first orchids I learnt here.
Another Lesser Butterfly Orchid
Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum) – One of my favourite flowers. Poisonous to lambs though apparently.
A lovely patch of hill I was surveying. Luckily the territory stopped before the cliffs on the other side!
What a lovely peat hag!
Some beautiful high ground, and decent weather.
I’m getting quite fond of this patch of ground.
Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)
Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)… it was cold. It wasn’t moving much!
Another Oak Eggar caterpillar I think.
An immature Dipper (Cinclus cinclus). Pretty obvious from the way it was bobbing up and down!
I think this is a female Drinker moth (Euthrix Potatoria).
And I’m pretty sure she’d just hatched from this cocoon!
Another Emperor Moth Larva?
Heath Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata). Correct me if I’m wrong. I’m still trying to remember my orchid identification!
A closer view of the Heath Spotted.
I think this is a Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)
A lovely fungus/lichen that I have just been told is probably Lichenomphalia umbellifera. (I believe the green moss at the top left is a Racomitrium lanuginosum)
Cloudberry!!! (Rubus Chameamorus) The big leaves. I think the red moss in the middle is Sphagnum subnitens.
A lovely piece of Alpin Clubmoss (Diphasiastrum alpinum)
And after Alpine Clubmoss, how could I not take a picture of some amazing Fir Clubmoss? This was one of the first plants I identified up here (well, one of the first that took a lot of effort to identify since it wasn’t so well known in most places). This is a lovely specimen. A lot of the ones I’ve seen recently are straggly and yellow so it’s nice to see it green and vibrant like this.
This is the same loch as the lower one in the previous panorama photo, but from the other side. The other photo was taken on the previous day from the ridge on the top right (not the far top right… just the middle ground)
A wren! Very surprised, and delighted, to see one here.
A different dragonfly (the yellow striped ones are pretty common). This is a Four Spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)
I was very excited to see this orchid, since it was clearly different to the others I normally see. It was very tall, and distinctive, and was the only one I could see around. I’m pretty sure it is an Early Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata).
Close up on the same orchid. Check out the creepy face in the flower facing us at the top!
As a hiking, and general wellbeing, note, on the first day I did 25km (almost entirely cross country) and 1,500m vertical ascent. I fell in one hole (up to my knee on one foot), and also dropped my heel into another hole (hyperextending my knee). I was physically fine the next day, but mentally shattered and thereby fairly useless in the Tearooms after 1pm. The second day I did 18km and thoroughly enjoyed it. My fitness is obviously coming along well as it felt easy, even with 900m vertical ascent, much of it up significant slopes (rather than slowly edging up the side of hills). I managed to drop the same heel in another hole, hyperextending the knee again, but it was still fine the next day. The back of that knee has been hurting a bit anyway, so I figure it serves it right. Maybe now it’ll behave again.