Cairngormless

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 7 March 2014 15:37

I'm still feeling rough so I'm trawling through old files to find interesting tales from the past. In 2007 I spent a month working at Abernethy RSPB with Mark Gurney, helping them carry out bird surveys. There were lots of great things to see there but a day that really stood out was when we went up Cairn Gorm on the 5th May. We were in search of Ptarmigan and Dotterel and we had excellent views of both. Amazing how confiding these birds are. 

I just love spending time in the mountains, so many new things to see! Lots of good plants such as Interrupted Club-moss, Alpine Hair-grass, Curved Wood-rush, Dwarf Cudweed, Sheathed Sedge and Stiff Sedge. But as is often the case, it's the things that you are not expecting to see that get you most excited. We saw a few of these little moths flying around in the sun shine that totally confused us. As we were looking through the photos afterwards, one of us was arguing for Black Mountain Moth and the other for Netted Mountain Moth. Of course, neither of these were anywhere near the mark. It's Broad-bordered White Underwing. This is quite a nice mountain moth and we were lucky to stumble across such a rarity!
By the way the moss in the background of the photo is Racomitrium lanuginosum. I have not been to Scotland since I left the RSPB. I really must get up there again soon...

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