Walking on Water

Sometimes a common term can create very different images depending on how you view the world. So what picture does the term “pond skater” bring to mind? An iconic work of art or an aquatic insect?   The champion pond skaters of the natural world, the water measurers (Hydrometridae), pond skaters (Gerridae) and water crickets […]

A Profusion of Pipits

The elegant, soaring song flights of larks embellishing a summer morning are celebrated in the the glorious collective term an “elevation of larks”. Alas there is no such epipthet for the Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis). The sound of a male pipit ascending to declare his territory is unlikely to send a poet into raptures, but […]

Bladderworts, Butterworts and Sundews

I like to think as insectivorous plants as a perverse, natural revenge by plants on the animal kingdom. The prey has become the predator as they have evolved the ability to lure, trap and digest insects. This facility to acquire additional nutrients enables them to grow in habitats with poor soils such as wetland heaths […]

Bluebells: myths and magic

Driving home from a trip to Argyll last week, I was captivated by the extensive blue haze on the hills above Loch Lomond which slowly transformed into masses of bluebells carpeting the woodland floor down to the loch shore. Spectacular displays of bluebells are one of the highlights of the spring; the swathes of bulbs […]

On the Beach

A Hebridean beach safari for curious naturalists Bank Holidays are traditionally a time for a trip to the beach, and Hebridean beaches can be as quiet as any Robinson Crusoe desert island. However, they are not as empty as they might appear and a closer look will reveal an abundance of life. The animals and […]

Welcome to Hebridean Nature Notes

The Outer Hebrides are a string of islands on north-west edge of the British Isles, separated from the mainland and islands of the Inner Hebrides by the Minch and Sea of the Hebrides. All the islands all have their own distinct character; their landscapes and rich wildlife protected by a traditional way of life and […]