Tuesday, 29 May 2018


1:30pm this afternoon: I'd just finished mowing and strimming the back lawns and had started heaving the leaf-blower onto my back when I suddenly thought to check my phone for missed calls. Three, all from my boss. O-oh, that's never a good thing... I called him back, wondering what emergency I was about to be hurled into this time. "There's a swan on the sea just outside my house, it's still here right now". Oh! "Has it got a yellow and black bill or an orange and black bill?" "Dunno, can't tell". "Ok, so is the neck curved or straight? " "Um kinda straight. Or curved. Not sure". "Fuckit, I'm driving down, I'll be there in two minutes....

Two minutes later and...

The crazy damn bird was casually swimming up and down just 50 metres offshore, presumably wondering where all of its pals were (clue - they arrived back in Iceland 5 or 6 weeks ago) and probably feeling slightly out of place in the 23C heatwave Skye is currently enjoying. As an aside, a pair of Common Terns were flitting across the bay slightly further out, brand new for my square and for my Skye List too. Double whammy, sweet! 

Well within the boundaries of NG3963 :)
I phoned local birder Martin Lumb who immediately put the news out on my behalf. I later told my boss that it was on the Skye Birds website with my initials after it. "But I found it not you, why isn't MY name on the website?" Haha, he can be so delightfully churlish at times.

The light trap has been working wonders this week. Still small numbers of moths, 20 individuals being a large haul, but today I added THREE macro-leps to my Pan-species List. Must be years and years since that last happened. 

The Lychnis
Broom Moth 
Dark Brocade
Other odds and sods in the trap these past few days include this bunch, amongst others

White Ermine
Clouded Silver (and not Silver Cloud as I keep calling it - that's a very different moth indeed!)
Dark Twin-spotted Carpet
Barred Umber
Small Angle Shades
The most gorgeously velvety Ruby Tiger ever!
Scalloped Hazel
Coxcomb Prominent
Narrow-winged Pug
Almost forgot to mention - last night was the start of the midge season here. I managed to avoid being bitten but they were becoming bothersome. Today I added three midge bites to my left forearm. Damn, let's see how long the season lasts this year...

I've YouTubed my way through various Midge Ure tracks whilst writing this post and have come to the conclusion that I really don't rate his stuff (Live Aid aside). Apart from the obvious one that everyone loves. If this means nothing to you.... 

And for no other reason than YouTube autoplayed straight into this....

I need to watch Lost Boys again sometime soon. I've only seen it about sixteen times so far...........

And then THIS happened. Man, I so love autoplay!


  1. You shut your mouth, how can you say I go about things the wrong way? I'm a whooper and I need to be loved! Jealous of your moth action. easterlies killing it stone dead here. Still nice for flies though

  2. Clouded Silver is nice, not a moth I've ever seen.