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Botany Group - July 5th Outing

by Beryl - 19:07 on 07 July 2016

Come July it was time for the Orkney U3A Botany Group to visit the islands.  As we headed for the Rousay Ferry through torrential rain it did not seem like a good idea but as we reached the island the sun came out and we were set for a dry and interesting day.

Negotiating the first style on the way to Faraclett Head was challenging as the support for the bottom step had disintegrated but once over we were soon walking over a beautiful and colourful carpet of vegetation.  We had great fun looking at flowers, trying to give them reasonably precise and hopefully accurate names.

Lunch was eaten overlooking Saviskaill Bay before we turned northeast and headed up to the summit of Faraclett Head gazing across sparklingly blue sea to Westray and the other north isles.  Not far beyond the summit we paused to watch the activities of the many Bonxies nesting in the area beneath our perch and the comings and goings of Arctic Terns that we judged must be nesting not far away.

Descending the slope we witnessed an ill tempered spat between two Bonxies and an Arctic Skua while the protests at our presence revealed where the Arctic Terns were nesting.

Once back at our car it was time for a quick drive around the island followed by a brief visit to the Craft Hub, a cup of tea at the Pier Café and the boat back.  Orkney had been at its best.

NOT A WINDMILL IN SIGHT - overlooking Saviskaill Bay



Carnation Sedge

Mountain Everlasting

Meadow Vetchling


Field Woodrush

Corn Spurrey


Flea sedge


Slender St John’s Wort

Cross Leaved heath


Milk Wort


Marsh Thistle

Heath Speedwell

Bog Ashphodel

White Clover

Limestone Bedstraw

Spring Squill





Fairy Flax

Northern Marsh Orchid


Creeping Willow



Bell Heather

Grass of Parnassus


Common Bog Cotton

Ladies Bedstraw

Sweet Vernal Grass


Alpine Meadow Rue



Ragged Robin

Heath Spotted Orchid

Tufted Vetch

Yellow Flag Iris





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