Saturday, 20 June 2009

Kilpatrick Hills, West Dunbartonshire

I took another short after-work walk in the Kilpatrick Hills - around Little Round Top and the Test.

The marshy meadow at Little Round Top is full of Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), which are very photogenic!

common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)
Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

Marsh Stitchwort (Stellaria palustris) is also flowering at Little Round Top.

The slope below the Test is covered in Heath Speedwell (Veronica officinalis) and Eyebright (Euphrasia sp.). I had to take a detour to avoid a herd of cattle with their youngish calves (which was a bit of a drag but I'd rather not take any chances).

Heath speedwell (Veronica officinalis)
Heath Speedwell (Veronica officinalis)
Eyebright (Euphrasia arctica x nemorosa?)

This Eyebright (above) is possibly Euphrasia arctica x nemorosa, but only an expert could say for sure. This genus of tiny, near-identical semi-parasitical plants are named after their traditional use in the treatment of eye problems.

The Large Black Slug (Arion ater) is a very common species in the Kilpatrick Hills and is often found on damp grasses during the day. When disturbed, these slugs will contract and rock gently from side to side in a strange fashion. They also exude a thick sticky mucus which is very difficult to wash off. Although there exists a less common brick-red colour form, normally this species is jet black (as indicated by its scientific name: ater = coal-black).

Large Black Slug (Arion ater)
Large Black Slug (Arion ater)
Large Black slug (Arion ater)
Large Black Slug (Arion ater)
Large Black Slug (Arion ater)
Large Black Slug (Arion ater)

At the Test a quick search underneath stones revealed a Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus) and a large Common Frog (Rana temporaria) with a distinct purplish tinge and beautiful gold flecked eyes.

Common frog (Rana temporaria)
Common Frog (Rana temporaria)
Palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus)
Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus)
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

No comments:

Post a Comment