Seen on several days by Russell, at Cartomi, Edderton; a Leucistic Siskin. Continue reading “Leucistic Siskin” »
Archive for the ‘TDFC Affairs’ Category
The other was for a wasps nest, not so dug out this one as you can see from the photo
Spaceweather.com, and other observers, predicted that Noctilucent Clouds may be visible in early July 2014. From Ardgay the evening sky “just looked right/promising”.
In the night of 7th July both Phil in Ardgay and Pat in Balintore were, for an unknown reason, looking at the northern sky and saw noctilucent clouds at about 01:30 +/-. The view was basically to the north, in Ardgay slightly eastward.
Here are their proofs:
Simplified Geometry for observing NLC’s
Spaceweather.com has this to say about Noctilucent Clouds:
NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. Seeded by “meteor smoke,” they form at the edge of space 83 km above Earth’s surface. When sunlight hits the tiny ice crystals that make up these clouds, they glow electric blue.
In the northern hemisphere, July is the best month to see them. NLCs appear during summer because that is when water molecules are wafted up from the lower atmosphere to mix with the meteor smoke. That is also, ironically, when the upper atmosphere is coldest, allowing the ice crystals of NLCs to form.
The natural habitat of noctilucent clouds is the Arctic Circle. In recent years, however, they have spread to lower latitudes with sightings as far south as Utah and Colorado. This will likely happen in 2014 as well. Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the Sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see blue-white tendrils zig-zagging across the sky, you may have spotted a noctilucent cloud.
It seems our ’sunset / sunrise’ lasts all night as far as seeing phenomena like noctilucent clouds. It just remains for you be awake, there to be few obscuring clouds, and tiny ice crystals at just the right position between you and the sun.
From the field trip on 17th May, 2014 to Crag Meagaidh HERE is the bird list compiled by Russell.
And, some photos from Russell of the TDFC group at Creag Meagaidh:
Moonwort, Botrychium lunaria, is presently abundant on Nigg dunes, as seen by David.
It is not since 2010 that breeding Aspen has been seen locally – SEE HERE. On April 14, 2014 a single Aspen was seen near Ardgay with a good display of male catkins.
There are many Aspen stems in the area but none other than this one show any sign of catkin flowers. It may be time to start noting whether any other Aspen will flower this year.
April 19; about 200m away from the Aspen stem above another showed signs of catkins (photo below). These are female flowers and are so far restricted to only a few upper branches.
Russell has seen female Aspen flowers in Edderton, see below:
Contact us if you see any flowering Aspen; take photos and note the date and location/grid reference.
17 members & friends of TDFC met at Kiltearn Church car-park for a coastal filed trip on the last Saturday in February.
Firstly we bird-watched along the shore to Balconie Point.
We then cut around the lagoons and reed beds to the riparian woods along the Allt Graad. Here we changed our focus to the bugs and fungi in the riverbank vegetation.
Our return route took us over the footbridge near the church where a dipper displayed along the bank while we were taking a group photo.
22nd February 2014 Observation List From
Kiltearn and Balconie Point (NH6165 & NH6265)
Xylaria carpophila Beechmast Candlesnuff Fungus NH 6247 6571 & NH 6231 6577
Ganoderma sp. Polyporous bracket fungus NH 625 657
Zonitoides excavatus Land snail NH 621 659
Discus rotundatus Land snail NH 621 659
Lehmannia marginata Slug NH 621 659
Deroceras reticulatum Netted slug NH 621 659 & NH 625 657
Arion distinctus Black slug NH 621 659
Oniscus asellus Common shiny woodlouse NH 62 65
Philoscia muscorum Common striped woodlouse NH 621 659
Anser brachyrhynchus Pink-footed Goose √
Anser anser Greylag Goose √
Anas penelope Wigeon √
Anas crecca Teal √
Anas platyrhynchos Mallard √
Bucephala clangula Goldeneye 6
Mergus serrator Red-breasted Merganser 1
Phalacrocorax carbo Cormorant √
Ardea cinerea Grey Heron 1
Haematopus ostralegus Oystercatcher √
Numenius arquata Curlew √
Tringa totanus Redshank √
Larus canus Common Gull √
Larus argentatus Herring Gull √
Larus marinus Great Black-backed Gull √
Corvus corone Carrion Crow √
Sturnus vulgaris Starling √
Cinclus cinclus Dipper 1
Erithacus rubecula Robin √
Passer domesticus House Sparrow √
Carduelis chloris Greenfinch √
Pyrrhula pyrrhula Bullfinch √
David McAllister, Heather McAllister, David O’Brien, Russell Wood
As always – for readers who live in the Tain, Ross-shire area - we are interested in frog spawning dates. If the weather warms up even slightly we could have spawn in the next week. Please check you local pond, and report to TDFC here on the website or by e-mailing TDFC@dsl.pipex.com.
With this winter season never getting very cold and the warmer weather approaching looking in your usual frog spawn pools should start soon. If you see frog spawn please let us know here by adding a comment below or use our facebook page to tell us when and where in the Tain area, and in the district, newly laid frog spawn has been found.
Please be as specific as possible about the site where you have found new frogspawn this year. If there are relevant comments or observations please include those – for instance, my usual pool has overgrown so as to be virtually dry.
We found the Beechmast Candlesnuff fungus (Xylaria carpophila) this morning at Calrossie. Heather found it below the leaf litter within 2 minutes of leaving the car and about 20 secs after starting to search! Photo attached.
Those who weren’t at Tuesday’s meeting can find info about this fungus on the HBRG website news page (http://www.hbrg.org.uk/Latest.html)
In a change to the objective for the next field trip please join other TDFC members,
the Highland Council Ranger Service,
and the Highland Spider Group
in Rosemarkie to look for Cave Spiders.
Meet on Saturday 19th October, 2013
at Rosemarkie Beach car park NH 7380 5771, at 10 am till 3pm Continue reading “Spidering Field Trip” »
13 members of TDFC spent a most enjoyable evening with Pat Rae & her visitor Hillary. We started with a barbecue cooked by Pat.
We then set off to explore the beach. We stopped at an area which had been stripped bare in the December storm. This had been colonised by green algae. We spent an hour investigating this area then returned to Pat’s for strawberries, raspberries and Stewart’s famous cheesecake.
Thanks to Pat for hosting this trip yet again.