Friday 5 August 2011

Friday 5th August

The stalking season has started again and will run until October 20th so to help minimise disturbance we have our hillphone service in place. This allows walkers to call and get information about where stalks are taking place and advice about alternative routes in the area. The hillphone service is updated daily and information about stalking can be found on the notice board at the Glen Tilt car park, by calling 01796 481740 or online at then following the links. Please avoid crossing land where stalking is taking place to avoid disturbance to stalks.

You may have noticed while you have been out and about that there are quite a few purple coloured droppings lying about from many different animals. This is because the blaeberry is fruiting and the fruits are eaten by many different species of birds and animals. Ptarmigan, black and red grouse particularly rely on blaeberry foliage as a food source. In the Caladonian forest insects eat more blaeberry than any other understory plant and these insects are particularly important for capercaillie chicks in their first few weeks of their life.

Blaeberry flowering
There are quite a few different types of fungi out at the moment and one of the ones spotted in Glen Tilt was a stinkhorn. This particular mushroom as you may have guessed by the name smells particularly pungent, like rotten meat. This is to attract flies which will land on its slimy cap and pick up the spores to disperse them. You may come across a stinkhorn as a fruiting body when it is encased in a what appears to be a squidgy white ball. If you are out walking and smell something really bad then take a closer look, it may turn out to be something you do not expect.
Stinkhorn ©Peter A Ferns

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