Thursday, 4 April 2013

British Summer Time

Easter coincided with the start of British Summer Time last weekend.   Skye's recent weather has been remarkable; it has looked summer-like and we have several days of almost ubiquitous sunshine and only very light winds.    But those winds have been easterly and it has been cold with overnight frosts and daytime temperatures not getting much above 6 deg.C despite the sun.   As a result spring in its fullness is much later than last year.

We saw the otter family at low tide on the 28th.   The kelp was exposed and the otters spent almost 3 hours in and amongst it, making regular catches.   They moved slowly up Loch na Cairidh and into Loch Ainort turning round at a point which juts out just beyond the sandy beach. The dive time was quite short - not surprisingly as  the water depth was no more than 1.5m.  Eventually they swam quite quickly, maybe 4 to 5 mph, back beyond Croft #1 and towards the Perlandera guesthouse.

I saw the first butterfly of the year, a peacock, warmed out of hibernation, but despite putting the moth trap out on three successive nights the low temperatures restricted  the number caught to 0,0 and 2 respectively.

The moth on the right above is a Clouded Drab (confirmed by Brian Neath); I originally thought it was a Red Chestnut, but he tells me that the short dashes along the outer cross line are diagnostic although not always present.  (Red Chestnut is a distinct possibility at this time of year but he has not seen one yet  It has several dots along the leading edge of the forewing).  The larvae feed on oak according to but we have only two spindly, stunted oaks, so maybe there is a different food supply.   The moth below is a Hebrew Character.

Birds on the sea included a group of 9 red-throated divers, razorbills, great northern divers, shag, and for the first time a little grebe dabbling amongst the wrack.

No comments:

Post a Comment