March on the Isle of Skye


4 March 2012 . . . . A few spring flowers are beginning to appear.

I saw my first Celandines today and spotted Primrose and Coltsfoot yesterday. A visit to Waterloo, on the edge of Broadford Bay, produced the following:

Copyright: Ken Billington

Bar-tailed Godwit

Copyright: Ken Billington

Wigeon


5 March 2012


Another fine day today, so took a walk up to Loch Cuil na Creige.

No birdlife but there were 20 red deer by the loch. Spotted a nice display of Hazel catkins on the way:

Copyright: Steve Terry

Corylus avellana

(male catkins and female flower)


7 March 2012

Wintry showers today but managed a walk by Camas na Sgianadin. The only significant bird sighting was a solitary Greylag Goose:

Copyright: Ken Billington


Driving along the A87 to Camas na Sgianadin I noticed this emerging Goat Willow:

Copyright: Steve Terry
Salix caprea: male flowers


12 March 2012

Skylarks were singing this morning and one or two caterpillars have emerged from hibernation:

Copyright: Steve Terry
Drinker moth caterpillar (Euthrix potatoria)


13 March 2012

On a recent visit to Cnoc a' Mhadaidh ruaidh (near Kyleakin) I was alarmed to see that this charming bit of heathland was being invaded by Gaultheria shallon:

Copyright: Steve Terry

This native of North America is widely regarded as a problem weed by heathland managers because it smothers other vegetation. It is more common in the south of England, where it is believed to have been planted as cover for pheasants on shooting estates (Wikipedia).



22 March 2012

The first of a series of regular visits to Kinloch woods yielded several interesting birds:

Copyright: Ken Billington
Brambling


Copyright: Ken Billington
Great Spotted Woodpecker


Copyright: Ken Billington
Long-tailed Tit


Copyright: Ken Billington
Bullfinch


24 March 2012 . . . . The warm weather has brought out one or two butterflies from hibernation:


Copyright: Steve Terry

Peacock


26 March 2012 . . . . Warm and sunny again, bringing out more butterflies:


Copyright: Steve Terry
Small Tortoiseshell


28 March 2012

Down in the woods again:

Copyright: Ken Billington
Redpoll


Also found my first violet of the year:


Copyright: Steve Terry
Viola riviniana


Most of the trees are showing signs of life now - one of the most advanced is the Sycamore:

Copyright: Steve Terry
Acer pseudoplatanus


Walking up the Heaste road from Broadford, I spotted my first summer visitors - a pair of Wheatears:

Copyright: Ken Billington
Wheatear


30 March 2012

Heard my first Chiffchaff today - on the Broadford Industrial Estate!


Copyright: Ken Billington
Chiffchaff


31 March 2012

The first bluebell (in a sheltered corner of Kinloch woods):

Copyright: Steve Terry