We hope this section will carry brief reports of formal and informal Club outings and activities. Please feel free to add comments and information.

A Day with the Dragonflies and Wildflowers of Hoy

by Admin - 14:43 on 05 August 2013

Saturday dawned a bit grey and breezy, but with a forecast of improving weather, we set off on the boat to Hoy. From Moaness we took a small detour through the coniferous woods at Hoy Lodge to find a few early fungi, then headed up the footpath. Along the way, we passed some field gentians and in wetter areas, some very impressive drifts of sundew (both long and round-leaved), some in flower.

Then we headed across to Berriedale woods, discovering the excellent flavour of the many large, ripe blaeberries on route! Stopping for our picnic at the lower end of Berriedale, we were soon assaulted by voracious midges and headed off up the wood to the waterfall, passing trees swathed in flowering and scented honeysuckle. Near the waterfall, as the sun came through, we spotted our first dragonflies (male Common Hawkers) zooming up and down the burn and located a patch of the tiny, delicate Wilson’s Filmy Fern.

With the sun strengthening and the wind easing we headed off towards Rackwick to the various pools that might support dragon and damsel flies. We were rewarded by some great views of good numbers of Common Hawkers, Black Darters, Red Damselflies, Blue and Blue-Tailed Damselflies, all very active and therefore fiendishly difficult to photograph!

After a quick visit to Rackwick’s gorgeous beach, we walked back to Moaness along the footpath, spotting many sunbathing Northern Eggar and some Emperor moth caterpillars and one generously posing Black Darter.

We didn’t manage to spot the Sea Eagles which are on Hoy at the moment, but it was an excellent day of many wildlife delights, great weather and of course, the endless stunning views that Hoy always offers.


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