Monday, 28 April 2014


Sunburn, April and Skye are not words that fit comfortably together, but last week was fantastic. Winds from the south east, breezy at best brought, several days of unbroken sunshine.  I got sunburnt planting out broccoli, brussels sprouts and salad plants and preparing a bed for peas.  The croft has looked terrific.

Greater wood-rush
Marsh violet
In flower are the first of the bluebells, plus lousewort, marsh violet, wood sorrell, greater wood-rush, and common cotton grass among others.

I had the moth trap out on two nights.   On the second night, in the garden, I caught over 130 moths but the species count was limited.  There were almost 50 Hebrew Character moths and a similar number of Red Chestnuts.  There were a few Powdered Quaker, and Early Tooth-striped, the first of the year.   Powdered Quaker are hard to differentiate from Common Quaker.   I am relying on the shape of the wing - Powdered pointed, Common rounded, but I might be wrong.

Early Tooth-striped
Powdered Quaker
Hoverfly (Eristalis pertinax)
The warmth in the daytime brought out bees (early bumblebee, white-tailed bumblebee and common carder bee), butterflies (small white, peacock and red admiral) and other insects such as hoverflies and house fly allies.

Grey Heron with Catch
Grey Heron
We heard the first cuckoo over on Scalpay, and lots of repoll have returned, unusually coming to the bird feeders.  I got very close to a grey heron which had eschewed the delights of standing motionless on the croft to hunt on the croft.  It caught what looked like a common shrew in the boundary ditch.


Otters?   The trail camera picked up an otter on the 24th in the early morning by the holt, but we had no sightings otherwise.

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