We have finally finished the Species List of the Bryophytes of the Outer Hebrides. We would like to thank Tristan ap Rheinallt, the British Bryophyte Society County Recorder, for compiling the list.
We would also like to encourage you to have a look at some mosses. They might be small, but they are beautiful. You don't need a microscope, a hand lens will be fine. You can discover more on the British Bryological Society website. If you are looking for a new project, we are very short of records of mosses and liverworts, particularly from the southern islands.
The new species list is now available to download from the Species Checklist page.
Each year brings its challenges for our community of biological recorders, but despite the weather, COVID restrictions and problems with ferries, 9,168 records covering over 2000 different animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms were submitted by 160 people. You can learn more about our how they contributed to our understanding of the amazing biodiversity to be found in our islands. The report is beautifully illustrated with photographs and brimming with maps and charts. Whether it is a single record or many more, we would like to thank everyone for helping to expand our knowledge of our local wildlife and to map the biodiversity of the islands.
The reports on biological recording in the Outer Hebrides in 2017 to 2020 can be viewed and downloaded from the Publications section.
Bumblebees of the Outer Hebrides was one of the first Wildlife of the Outer Hebrides leaflets we produced. In the intervening years two new species of bumblebees have been recorded in the islands: the Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum) and the Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). The Common Carder Bee, has been recorded in the islands since 2014 and is now quite widespread making differentiation between the two carders bees a new challenge. In 2020 the Buff-tailed Bumblebee, was added to the species list. Queens with buff tails are identifiable; workers are more difficult and can look like other white-tailed bumblebees.
It was clearly time to up-date our Bumblebee leaflet and a new version which includes these two species is now available to download from the Publications section. Printed copies will be available from libraries, museums, cafes and galleries as soon as the COVID regulations permit.
Is it Spring yet? Probably not, but you can help us track the arrival of Spring through the islands by telling us when you first see or hear any of our 9 target species - 3 wild flowers, 3 birds and 3 insects. The arrival of spring in the Outer Hebrides is always unpredictable so it is important to measure the variation from year to year so that we can begin to understand the effect of climate change on our wildlife. It is designed to be fun and easy, so join us and help make a difference.
You can discover more about the project and how to participate on the Hebridean Spring Project pages.Hebridean Nature Notes website.
Last year when our ability to move around the islands was limited by the Covid pandemic we wanted to encourage everyone to stay engaged with nature and invited you to record the wildlife in your gardens. We have had some fascinating results and once again we would like to ask you to record the insects, invertebrates, mammals, wild plants, fungi and lichens which you encounter on your doorstep. You can decide your level of participation and you can start now.
It doesn't matter if you garden is small or what you grow, you will be surprised to discover how much wildlife it supports. Gardens are important biodiversity havens as you will discover if you read Robin Sutton's inspiring article on the wildlife in his garden on Hebridean Nature Notes
You can discover more about the project and how to participate on the Garden Watch pages.
A complete list of the contents of all of the volumes of the Hebridean Naturalist is available on the Outer Hebrides Bibliography website.