15 March 2014

LNHG River Avich walk  

Photos by Jan Hamilton and Sallie Jack.  Mouse over the photos for photo credits and other info.

I didn't want to risk my camera in the rain and those who did manage a few photos had to take them in dull and difficult conditions.

Our objective was to follow the River Avich from Barnaline to Loch Avich, taking in the Avich Falls on the way.  The river runs through a strip of native woodland between conifer plantations.  Sallie's photo below shows the view from Barnaline car park.

River Avich from Barnaline car park

The trees by the car park were rich in lichens and we heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the distance.  We made our way along a track signposted Avich Falls Walk.  We ended up at Loch Avich without having had a good view of the falls but we found them on our way back along the other side of the river.  Near the loch we saw a pair of Grey Wagtails.

Primula vulgaris

There aren't many spring flowers out yet owing to the very dull and wet weather we've had so far this year.  We did spot a few primroses, which are difficult enough to photograph at the best of times, let alone in the rain in a dark wood.  I've had to edit Sallie's photo a bit to give the flowers some colour!

Hymenophyllum wilsonii

This was an unusual sight - luxurious growth of Wilson's Filmy Fern on a tree branch sticking out over the river.  It normally keeps to very shady humid places at the base of trees or rocks, but here it survives in the open air due to spray from the river keeping the air around it moist.  Sallie's close-up of the fern is below.

Hymenophyllum wilsonii

When we finally reached the falls it felt very much like lunchtime, so we made the best of the rather inadequate seating and ate our sandwiches in the rain.  Jan took photos of the falls at a range of shutter speeds.  The first picture below is taken at 1/125 and the second at 1/20.

Avich Falls

Avich Falls

Can't decide which I prefer!

Unknown gloopy fungus

Jan spotted this strange gloopy fungus with bits hanging down like stalactites.  It was full of conidia and maggots, and I could not identify it.

  Rana temporaria, spawn

Frogspawn was very plentiful in the trackside ditches.  Many of the tadpoles were still black dots, but some had begun to elongate as seen here in Sallie's photo.


As there aren't many photos from the walk I've added a few moths.

Colostygia multistrigaria

This Mottled Grey came to my window the evening after the walk.

Biston strataria

On the same evening, Judith photographed this Oak Beauty outside her door at Drimfern, near Inveraray.

Agriopis marginaria

The next moth to pay me a visit was this Dotted Border on 21 March, which is minus an antenna.

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All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated.  Some photos are Sallie Jack, Jan Hamilton or Judith Witts.