I visited this pool in a disused quarry at Clashmore (NC036316) on 13th April 2015 to make a collection for an old friend who studies desmid algae. The shallows were dominated in places by what looked like fuzzy green string. I recognised this as one of the stoneworts, large green algae found in still and slowly-flowing freshwater habitats, usually with a pH of over 6.
It keyed out to delicate stonewort Chara virgata, the commonest of the group in Assynt. Seen under the microscope, stoneworts have an elegant structure. The main axes are sheathed by long narrow cells, sometimes in a long spiral, and bear whorls of branchlets, which are punctuated by rings of tiny spine-cells. When they appear later in the season, the female reproductive structures, oogonia, look like miniature orange hand grenades.
Beds of stonewort support a wide range of small animal life and are an important part of the food-web where they occur.
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three off Split Rock, Clachtoll (Paul Burnett) (20/08)
15+ north-west of Split Rock, Clachtoll (Paul Burnett) (20/08)
22 Culkein Stoer and 14 Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (18/08)
Waders on Migration
Dunlin 7; Sanderling 1; Ringed Plover 42; Redshank (juveniles) 2; Oystercatcher 49; Turnstone 3; Curlew 8 and Whimbrel 1, all Bay of Culkein/Culkein Stoer (DAH) (18/08)
single bird near Clashnessie (DAH) (18/08)
single female Loch Drumbeg (DAH) (11/08)
immature bird off Kirkaig Point (Adrian Stabler) (08/08)
Larch Ladybird (Aphidecta obliterata)
single beetle foraging, Culkein Stoer (DAH). This appears to be only the third record of this species for Assynt, the last being in 2008 near Inchnadamph. It is probably very under recorded. Photos Gallery - Beetles (08/08)