Category Archives: Species of the month

Species of the month – the greenshank

Andy Douse, SNH’s Senior Ornithologist, tells us about these vocal waders you might be lucky enough to spot (and hear) at this time of year in the far north of Scotland. Back in early April, I’m sitting on a bare … Continue reading

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Species of the month – rowan

The rowan tree (Sorbus aucuparia) has deep roots in Celtic folklore, thanks mostly to its bright red berries, which have long been associated with spirits and all things magic. But never mind the myths; the rowan is a ubiquitous feature … Continue reading

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Species of the month – lions of the sea

Any guess what this is? It is, of course, a star-forming region in the carina nebula, courtesy of NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). How about this? Imagine a sunny warm day … Continue reading

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Species of the month – wasp

I saw a wasp upon a wall And did not like his face at all: And so the creature had no time To wonder whether he liked mine. ‘Plain Murder’, A.G. Prys-Jones.     The maligned common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) … Continue reading

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Species of the month: North Atlantic gannet

Killer acceleration, ultra-streamlined body, wrap-around airbags and dazzling speeds – we’re not talking supercars here but a seabird. In fact, the biggest seabird in the North Atlantic, with a wingspan of just under 2 m: the northern gannet. For the … Continue reading

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Species of the Month – a remarkable ant

When we think of pilfering in the natural world we may think of magpies or jackdaws, but birds aren’t the only species that are capable of a bit of theft.  Our August Species of the Month is a rather unconventional … Continue reading

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Species of the month – heather

The name is so closely associated with Scotland that it seems part of the very fabric of the nation. Whisky, bagpipes, red deer stags, porridge, heather: each might seem to have aspects of cliché or stereotype about them, but each … Continue reading

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Species of the Month – corncrake

The sound of corncrakes calling on summer nights was once a feature of meadows across Scotland. But both flower-rich grasslands and corncrakes have become scarce. For more than 40 years, Scotland has been home to almost all the corncrakes that … Continue reading

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Species of the month – Scottish primrose

This small plant is one of the very few species found in Scotland and nowhere else in the world. Within Scotland, it grows in only a small part of the north mainland coast and some of the islands in Orkney. … Continue reading

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Species of the Month – Trout

The native range of the brown trout (Salmo trutta) extends from Iceland and the White Sea in the north, to the Atlas mountains of Morocco in the south, making them one of the most widespread freshwater fish in Europe. They … Continue reading

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