Archive for the ‘Zoological’ Category

Strathrory Burn – 12 September 2015

Monday, September 14th, 2015

The Tain & District Field Club enjoyed the prospect of beating the forecast rain while searching for wolf spiders along the sandy / gravelly banks of this burn. The forecast proved about right so it was wet weather gear all-round, but the specific target species Arctosa cinerea did not appear. Of course, lack of evidence does not provide evidence of non-existence, so future searches may be worthwhile.

TDFC members, as ever, observed and recorded many species which will add to the known assemblage in our area.

Here is a species list :

Strathrory spider hunt 12 September 2015
Place Grid Ref Species Name Habitat
Strathrory forestry track NH 6708 7746 Meles meles Badger Scat on road edge.  Not in pit.
Strathrory Bridge NH 660 776 Hirundo rustica Swallow
Strathrory Bridge NH 660 776 Troglodytes troglodytes Wren
Strathrory NH 67 77 Anthus pratensis Meadow Pipit
Strathrory forestry track NH 4523 5802 Bufo bufo Common Toad Crossing road
Strathrory forestry track NH 452 580 Rana temporaria Common Frog
Strathrory Bridge NH 660 776 Forficula auricularia Common Earwig
Strathrory NH 67 77 Bombus jonellus Heath Bumblebee
Strathrory forestry track NH 6707 7745 Sawfly leaf-miner Aspen leaves burrows & leaves stuck together
Strathrory Bridge NH 660 776 Crab spider Swept from veg by river
Strathrory River ford NH 674 774 small Wolf Spider River gravels obeside ford.
Strathrory forestry track NH 659 776 (Equisetum plastre) Marsh Horsetail
Strathrory forestry track NH 6707 7745 Populus tremula Aspen Leaf miner & rust fungus
River above Strathrory Bridge NH 659 776 Ranunculus repens Creeping Buttercup River bank
River above Strathrory Bridge NH 659 776 Succisa pratensis Devil’s-bit Scabious
Strathrory River ford NH 67 77 Succisa pratensis Devil’s-bit Scabious
Strathrory forestry track NH 6707 7745 Melampsora larici-tremulae? Aspen rust fungus ? Aspen leaves


Some photos from the day:

Wet weather spider search
Aspen Leaf-Miner Damage
Badger poo on the track
Toad going nowhere on the track

Beached Pilot Whale – Tain Bay

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

A Long-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala melas) stranded and died in Tain Bay on the afternoon of 25 October 2014.

Click image to viewThe whale was not able to be refloated and sent back to deep water.  An autopsy will hopefully provide some indication of why this whale stranded and died.




Spidering Field Trip

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

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” »

Garrick Wood, Early Morning Birdsong

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Early on Sunday morning, 28th April, Tain & District Field Club members ventured round Ballinger’s pond by the Garrick corner.

Ten members of the club set out at 6:30AM on a rather cold and damp morning to listen for spring birdsong in the Garrick wood.

We first visited the moth trap which Brian had set the evening before but in these conditions had only one moth, a Common Quaker.

The bird list was rather shorter than hoped for, but for most of the group the many willow warblers were the first we had heard this year.

Here are lists of some sightings:

Oniscus asellus Common Shiny Woodlouse
Orthosia stabilis Common Quaker moth trap

Anser anser Greylag Goose
Phasianus colchicus Pheasant
Numenius arquata Curlew
Larus argentatus Herring Gull
Columba palumbus Woodpigeon
Corvus frugilegus Rook
Corvus corone corone Carrion Crow
Parus caeruleus Blue Tit
Parus ater Coal Tit
Parus major Great Tit
Phylloscopus trochilus Willow Warbler
Troglodytes troglodytes Wren
Turdus philomelos Song Thrush
Erithacus rubecula Robin
Fringilla coelebs Chaffinch

Vulpes vulpes Fox droppings
Capreolus capreolus Roe Deer

Some pictures of the morning out.

2013-04_GarrickWood-01Click image to view


First Red Squirrel!

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Here is the FIRST picture of the FIRST Red Squirrel in over 60 years at Amat, by Ardgay. Continue reading “First Red Squirrel!” »

2013 – Frog Spawn Appears

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

13th March and finally we see our local frog spawn at Oldtown, Ardgay.  In the sun the water / jelly temperature was 10.5 deg C ; underneath, 6 cm down on the bottom, it was 4.5 deg C.

FrogSpawn on 13th March 2013Click image to view

Snow lying around frog spawn pool
Snow lying around frog spawn pool
Snow lying around frog spawn pool

A Nice Bee Beetle

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

This fine example of Trichius fasciatus was photographed last week – Sept 2012 – at Rogie Falls by Sarah Fraser. Continue reading “A Nice Bee Beetle” »

Bats at Spinningdale

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

After a very beautiful day, though very windy, TDFC members went bat hunting with the audio bat detector.  Very strong winds and no apparent midges may have reduced the numbers, nevertheless here is a record of what was found:

Bat records at Spinningdale

Bat records at Spinningdale

Bat excursion Spinningdale

Wandering Water Voles

Friday, September 7th, 2012

“Scottish water voles have been found to travel enormous distances, enabling them to persist in fragmented habitats.” (BBC)

Continue reading “Wandering Water Voles” »

First Frog Spawn – 2012

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Please let us know of early sightings of frog spawn in Sutherland or Ross-shire.

Mating frogs by Sadie, March 2011Send a comment from the box below.

Please report your first sighting this year and where that was.

If you are checking for early frog spawn and want to report it please add a comment below with date and location with these details, (minimum essentials shown in bold):

Place (a name from an OS map is best)
OS Grid Ref
Person who recorded this
Notes e.g habitat details, time, altitude
Please take a few minutes more and record your observation on the Amphibian & Reptile Conservation web site:
HERE.  Every single observation helps build the bigger picture.

Always keep that bug net to hand

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

A tiny insect last recorded in Britain in 1881, and thought to have since died out, has been found near a river in Assynt in the north west Highlands. Continue reading “Always keep that bug net to hand” »

Field Vole Population Increase

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Scottish field vole plague reaches record level

By Christopher Sleight Tayside & Central reporter, BBC News website

Field vole. Pic: Andy Sands/naturepl.comClick image to view Field voles thrive under snow cover as it protects them from raptors

Continue reading “Field Vole Population Increase” »

Mink ‘Safe Haven’ Project

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

The largest ever initiative to remove breeding American mink from the north of Scotland is under way.

The Scottish Mink Initiative aims to create a 20,000 sq km safe haven for native wildlife in rural Tayside, Aberdeenshire, Moray, the Cairngorms and the Highlands. Continue reading “Mink ‘Safe Haven’ Project” »

First Frog Spawn – 2011

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Who has seen frog spawn this spring in Ross-shire or Sutherland?  Continue reading “First Frog Spawn — 2011” »

‘Lost world’ of rare species in Highlands’ forest

Friday, December 17th, 2010

A forest in the Highlands holds a “lost world” of rare and endangered spiders, ants and flies, according the charity that owns the woodland. Continue reading “‘Lost world’ of rare species in Highlands’ forest” »