Monday, 2 January 2017

Still Lichen It

Gave the square a bit of a bash today, down to the beach to check through the gull flock, up the hill above Uig Woods and the River Conon, snuck across a couple of fencelines and into the old cemetery before descending back to base via the road. 

No shockers with the gull flock, it seems to be an amazingly static mix of 2/3 Herring Gulls, 1/3 Great Black-backed Gulls and just a handful of Common Gulls. Pretty sure Iceland Gull must be fairly regular here in winter times, Glaucous Gull less so but still to be expected once every blue moon. I shall keep checking. For heck's sake, there was an Ivory Gull at Uig Pier a coupla years back and if THAT can turn up...well. Nice to see a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers back again amongst the 14 Wigeon that have been here ever since I started checking over a month ago. Curlews and Redshank were yet again the only waders in evidence, Oystercatchers and Turnstones do occur but are a tad more erratic in their appearance. No Tattler or Willet just yet. 

I headed up the hill above the River Conon, passing through the patch of Atlantic Hazelwood and had a quick look around for yearticks and lifers. One Hazel had several patches of Glue Crust Fungus (Hymenochaete currugata) but despite much looking I failed to find the associated Hazel Gloves - a rare and spectacular fungus which occurs (somewhere) up here. 

Glue Crust - freaky stuff in itself, but Hazel Gloves would be better!
Staying with lichens on tree trunks I spotted this which was different and new for my NG3963 List, though not my overall British PSL

Graphis scripta, the species after which The Graphidion is named.
And STILL with those lichens on tree trunks, I found this new for the year

Degelia atlantica with its abundant isidia and no apothecia (unlike the much commoner D.cyanoloma)
I clambered across a fenceline (why are they so hell bent on barbed wire up here???) then a gateway and found myself at the back of the cemetery on the very edge of my monad. The perimeter wall offered all the interest with numerous lichens and mosses mocking me with their unidentifiability (is that even a word?) although I managed to nail one or two of them. This one looked pretty distinctive 

The concentric apothecia gives this away as Rhizocarpon petraeum - I hope!
If it is Rhizocarpon petraeum then it's new for me. Literature and websites suggest it is distinctive enough to do in the field. It is common in this habitat and has already been recorded in this part of the world. Seems ok to me. 

Whilst I was right at the top of the hill and well away from any cover it decided to start raining. Not hard, but combined with the rather fresh north wind it persuaded me to scurry down to civilisation and warmth once more. Big softy southern jess that I am. My 2017 yearlist has jumped by about 50 or so additions after today's wee jolly.


  1. Seth, are you using Dobson to identify the lichens? Loving the blog...

  2. Hi Steve, Dobson yes but also Alan Silverside's most excellent Scottish Lichens site. He seems more thorough than most of the others who have ID websites up. He's at and combined with Lichens of Ireland at and the French site Marine, Maritime & Oceanic Lichens at I hope I've got most of it covered. There are also a few blogs I follow from local Nat.Hist groups which give me a good heads up of what's around in this part of the world. None local enough to tag along with though - unfortunately.