The grounds of Dungarthill House are currently full of rhodedendrons in flower

So we are now settled in to our “home” for the next week, the rather splendid Dungarthill House. Various friends are arriving over the next two days and it promises to be a enjoyable week of eating, drinking, music-making and good company! We’re here because of my upcoming 60th birthday, but also it’s Brenda’s birthday tomorrow and two of our closest friends, Jeremy and Cecilia, are getting married today and will be here tomorrow. Plenty of reasons to celebrate and have a great holiday.

Today Brenda and I were preparing for the arrival of guests, part of which involved a vary large shopping trip, but we did find time to have a visit to Loch of the Lowes, which is only a few miles away and which we visited the last time we were in this area. We are hoping to visit again in the evening later this week to try to see their introduced beavers, but today we caught up with some lovely goldeneye and the female of their pair of nesting ospreys, on her nest.

Back at Dungarthill our friends Helen and James arrived and – since James is the moth expert who inspired Brenda to become interested – we were soon setting up three more moth traps!

Brenda writes: “Today my moth trap yielded four new species – white ermine, pale shouldered brocade, brown silver-line and nut-tree tussock. These last two are completely new species for me. We also had a buff tip which I never tire of seeing.

The Scottish form of the white ermine
pale shouldered brocade
nut-tree tussock

Then we headed off to do a massive grocery shop and I saw my first new flower species of the day, common valerian. Tall with a distinctive shape it has a cluster of mauve flowers with two smaller clusters on either side on stalks at a 45° angle.

We decided to have a quick visit to Loch of the Lowes to see the ospreys. The female was sitting on the nest with two young and there were yellow water lilies on the loch. There was also lots of greater stitchwort and wood sorrel in the woodland.

Back at Dungarthill  House I had another look at the plants by the curling pool (pond in the summer and curling rink when it freezes!). Close inspection with the field guide gleaned two new species, heath speedwell and pink purslane, which has fleshy leaves and pairs of pink flowers. In the evening James set up three more moth traps on the woodland path down towards the pool.”

pink purslane

New species for June 1st:
Birds: osprey
Moths: white ermine, pale shouldered brocade, brown silver-line, nut-tree tussock
Flowers: common valerian, yellow water lilly, greater stitchwort, wood sorrel, pink purslane, heath speedwell