2021 County Report for West Sutherland

Ian M. Evans and Gwen Richards

It has been another curious year.  However, with contributions from Andy Amphlett, we logged some 3000 records from over 25 sites.

In a week at Tongue in June, with Gordon Rothero and Ro Scott, we listed a further nine monads, including remote squares in the south of the parish (thanks to Wildland Ltd).  At Ard Skinid on the Kyle (NC5961), we had Viola canina (Heath Dog-violet) and Ophioglossum vulgatum (Adder’s-tongue).  Mire pools south of Lochan Hakel (NC5652) (photo) yielded subspecies incarnata and pulchella of Dactylorhiza incarnata (Early Marsh-orchid) and, unusually, flowers on Utricularia minor (Lesser Bladderwort).

A visit to Invernaver (NC7060) with David and Anita Pearman was enhanced by thousands of plants of Carex maritima (Curved Sedge) along the tide-line and over 500 spikes of Botrychium lunaria (Moonwort) on the dunes.  Cnoc an Fhreiceadain, just behind Coldbackie (NC6159), housed some curious bedfellows, including Galium sterneri (Limestone Bedstraw), Salix herbacea (Dwarf Willow) and Silene acaulis (Moss Campion).

A second week at Tongue in August explored six more monads, with an aptly isolated record of Carex remota (Remote Sedge) beside the Kyle (NC5653), and a large quantity of Ceratocapnos claviculata (Climbing Corydalis) in the village (NC5956), where it has not been seen since 1897.

Elsewhere, Andy Amphlett found Conium maculatum (Hemlock, NVCR) at Badnaban (NC0820), and a new site for Alchemilla wichurae (Rock Lady’s-mantle) at Inchnadamph (NC2621).  Other noteworthy finds were Ranunculus sceleratus (Celery-leaved Buttercup, NVCR) at Little Assynt (NC1525), Sinapis arvensis (Charlock, now rare in the north-west) at Clachtoll (NC0427), and Datura stramonium (Thorn-apple, NVCR) on tipped soil at Kylestrome (NC2234).

Mire pool south of Lochan Hakel and Ben Loyal
Mire pool south of Lochan Hakel and Ben Loyal

Dactylorhiza incarnata (Early Marsh-orchid) subsp. pulchella

Notable in West Sutherland