Huge sea potato
April 1st 2018
The fragile shells or tests of sea potatoes or heart urchins are regularly found on Assynt beaches, but I have never before seen one as large as this. It was collected from the eastern shore of Oldany Island (NC0934) by Wendy Glover, after she and Steve Collie had canoed across on 4th March 2018.
Sea potatoes are recorded up to 90mm, the length of this one. Much more usual are examples up to 40mm, like the other shown here, which, by coincidence, Gwen Richards and I found at Achmelvich the same day.
These tests have lost their ‘furry’ coating of recumbent spines, which in life help them to burrow down to 150mm beneath the sandy seabeds which are their natural habitat. They are one of the commoner examples, on local shores, of the echinoderms, a large group of exclusively marine organisms, uniquely 5-radiate in design, which also include starfish, brittle stars and sea cucumbers.
single male bird in Torbreck garden (Gwen Richards) (30/09)
single bird in Torbreck garden (Gwen Richards) (30/09)
single reptile spotted on Baddidarach to Achmelvich path (Ballal Mirza) (29/09)
single light-bellied bird on rock in Clashnessie Bay (DAH). This bird had two coloured leg rings and we are trying to establish its history. Update 30-9-20 - we have heard back from the Irish Brent Goose Ringing Group and this bird was ringed as a juvenile in South Dublin in December 2019. (29/09)
three birds, Lochan Sgeireach, Stoer (DAH) (29/09)
single bird, probably juvenile, in 'dogfight' with Hooded Crow for over 10 minutes (Gwen Richards and Ian M. Evans) (29/09)
Viper's-bugloss (Echium vulgare)
single plant in fenced ground, Culkein Stoer (Ian M. Evans and Gwen Richards). First record of this plant in Assynt since 2006 (29/09)
single bird Bay of Culkein (Gwen Richards and Ian Evans)