The only flowering plants I had seen so far were the Hazels at the base of the mountain.
|Melangyna lasiophthalma (Photo: S. Rae - Wikipedia Commons)|
Despite checking out loads of rock faces and scree I failed to find any Purple Saxifrage, although it was good to reacquaint myself with Fir Clubmoss Huperzia selago.
I headed down the mountain but as Seth was still working I stopped off at a river to look for stoneflies. One Leuctra hippopus on a fencepost by the river appears to be the second Skye record but I then swept the very common planthopper Empoasca vitis from some young conifers - new to Skye.
|Empoasca vitis (Photo: Tristan Bantock www.britishbugs.org.uk )|
Leaving the river to head back to Uig, I had a Flying Barn Door (aka White-tailed Eagle) over the car. Back at Uig we headed down to the woods where I added 13 new species; lichens, fungi, a snail and a liverwort.
|The lichen Pyrenula macrospora showing the black lines along the boundaries between the colonies.|
Perhaps the best find of the day was still to come though. Seth had told me how rare ants were on Skye. I think he said he'd only seen ants once during his 15 months on the island - fairly amazing for someone who spends so much time turning over rocks, logs, etc. Walking back down the road behind the hotel, he turned over a rock and there were some ants. I took one specimen, it's a bit tricky to interpret the key with this one but if I'm right it will not only be new to Skye but only the third record for Scotland. I await verification or correction.