Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Kilpatrick Hills, West Dunbartonshire

There are plenty of thrashing, fluttering fledgling birds of every species around at the moment. The Collared Doves in my parent's garden have raised a pair of 'squabs' which are still collarless and lack the sleekness of the adults. I've been watching the local Jackdaws take their recently fledged young for a communal bath in the massive rain puddle on the roof of a nearby primary school.

Today, in Little Round Top wood, I found a rather sad-faced young Blue Tit:

Blue Tit juvenile (Parus caeruleus)
Blue Tit juvenile (Parus caeruleus)
Blue Tit juvenile (Parus caeruleus)
The meadow around Little Round Top was full of brightly coloured flowers and butterflies: Common Blues, Small Coppers and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries.

Ragged Robin (below) is one of my favourite wild flowers: the crumpled flowers are such an exquisite shade of candy-floss pink.
Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi)
Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi)
The Ragged Robin's scientific name is Latin for 'shining cuckoo-flower' (Lychnis = shining/light-giving, flos = flower + cuculi = cuckoo).
Red Campion (Silene dioica)
Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)

Below Little Round Top I found a species of rose I'd never seen before, it had white flowers and was covered in resinous glands: clearly not a Dog Rose.
Sherard's Downy Rose (Rosa sherardii) ?
Sherard's Downy Rose (Rosa sherardii) ?
Sherard's Downy Rose (Rosa sherardii) ?

This rose is probably Sherard's Downy Rose (Rosa Sherardii), the commonest downy rose in Scotland, but I'd have to see the rosehips to be certain. The other contender is the Downy Rose (Rosa tomentosa), which is scarce in Scotland. Unusually, the flowers of this rose are white - my books say that the flowers of Sherard's Downy Rose are 'always pink' whereas the Downy Rose (R.tomentosa) may have pink or white flowers...
Pignut (Conopodium majus)

Pignut is a small, delicate umbellifer with edible tubers (after which it is named). These can be eaten raw or boiled/roasted and are said to have a pleasant nutty taste.

Pignuts and how to cook them:
http://www.countrylovers.co.uk/wfs/pignut.htm.
Marsh Hawksbeard (Crepis paludosa)
Marsh Hawksbeard (Crepis paludosa)
Marsh Hawksbeard (Crepis paludosa)
Walking down from Little Round Top wood I noticed a herd of young bulls near the phone mast to the East and picked up my pace. Sure enough, the bullocks began briskly trotting towards me. Luckily, I was able to squeeze through a gap in a barbed wire fence before they reached me :(


I caught this Common Carder-bee (Bombus pascuorum) in my parent's garden:
Common Carder-bee (Bombus pascuorum)

Bombus pasuorum is the commonest of the ginger 'carder' bumblebees and can be identified by the presence of black hairs on the abdomen.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful creatures and flowers. I would love to take oban wildlife trips and see them all.

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