Ulota bruchii

Winter Delights

Winter days are short, and the weather can be too extreme for even the hardiest of the islands’ naturalists. Sometimes there will be a brief break in the weather when the wind drops, the rain stops and there may be a glimpse of the distant winter sun. The birdwatchers and beachcombers will always be tempted […]

Berneray freshwater loch

Life in Freshwater

Lochs, lochans, peaty pools and ephemeral winter ponds are all familiar and characteristic features of our landscape. The 6,000 lochs and 1,375 stream systems together with the water held in our spongy peatbogs and its pools, combine to create a very high ratio of freshwater to land mass in the islands. We might stop to

Compass Jellyfish

Jellies on the Beach

Graceful and insubstantial but beware of the sting in the ‘tail’. This is not an invitation to a beach picnic, just a suggestion that the next time you see a large amorphous blob of jelly stranded on the shore that you stop and have a closer look. Try to imagine it drifting in the sea,

Natural History St Kilda

Browsing the Bibliographies with the Species Sleuths

Until the formation of OHBR in 2012, almost all the information on the islands’ biodiversity had been gathered by either visiting amateur naturalist or professional scientists engaged in academic research or conducting surveys for various government agencies. Their work has provided the backbone for our species lists and when a potential new species is found

Seashells on Eriskay beach, Outer Hebrides

Seashells on the Seashore

Beachcombing Some of us are inveterate beachcombers and cannot resist the urge to poke about in the flotsam and jetsam, examine an interesting piece of seaweed or collect a handful of shells. For most people this is just part of a walk on the beach and it goes no further. However, for the naturally curious

Smalll Periwinkle Melarhaphe neritoides

Seashells on the Seashore II

The area we call the seashore lies between the high-water mark, the shoreline, and line which marks the lowest level to which the water retreats on a falling tide. This is a transitional habitat shaped by the action of the sea, the geology of the land and geographical location. The composition of the coastal communities

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