Oh dear, catch up blog, never good to let it go so long. But on 25 April, the following caught my eye at Tentsmuir (right hand walk, avoiding potential distress from the new visitor centre).
I enjoyed that empty beach feeling and watched some sanderlings. St Andrews was hazy in the distance.
The tiny, tiny spring flowers were out in the dunes – only noticeable when I got down on my knees to look at something else.
This is the beautiful little Early Forget-me-not, Myosotis ramossissima
I also found these distinctive spotted hairy leaves – possibly Spotted Hawkweed, Hieracium maculatum.
Some of the dunes had been burnt – at first I thought someone’s bonfire had got out of control, then I wondered if it was done deliberately, to manage something unwelcome like the Sea Buckthorn (which I would never admit to being unwelcome!)
Also not so good to find was this bunch of balloons, which I popped and disposed of. There were two other balloons too, in other places. Seems to be more common now.
I walked to the estuary end.
On the way back, I watched a little bird which made the oddest farty noise followed by a high pitched squeak. I was desperate to get a photo so tried a long range shot that I couldn’t really see in the viewfinder…turns out I got the bird on the block next to the one I was trying to capture, which may or may not be related.
I went out to see if could sort out the monitoring plot co-ordinates or if it was all too hopeless…not the best day for the dunes on Tentsmuir point, as it was blowing an absolute gale, but the sun was shining and it wasn’t cold.
Anyway, in the plot in the middle of the dune, it was lovely to find some tiny wee gems flowering away in the teeth of the wind. First, the smallest little vetch.
I’m fairly sure it’s Spring vetch (Vicia lathyroides) and not just a small version of Common vetch (Vicia sativa), but next time I’ll check the seeds (smooth for Common vetch).
Then there was this little beauty.
After a bit of looking up, I think its Little Mouse-ear (Cerastium semidecandrum). Next time, I’ll check whether those hairs are glandular. I think they are – or is that just windblown sand grains?
And the teeny tiny Early Forget-me-not, Myosotis ramosissima.
Seeing these little flowers makes all the hassle of the survey worthwhile.