Wild Flowers in Hoy

Bog Asphodel and Heath Spotted-orchid were just two of the wild flowers we found on the walk to the Old Man of Hoy with RSPB Warden Lee Shields in July 2019. It was a hot day full of sunny chat.


Great Wood-rush.websize-1401

Heath Bedstraw.websize-1455

We saw three varieties of heather on the walk, Ling, Cross-leaved Heath and this one the Bell Heather.websize-1425

Smero, the Orkney name for Tormentil.websize-1424

And joining the Tormentil here is the Lousewort.websize-1400-2

Bog Asphodel – it’s Orkney name being Pulderuck.websize-1419

We weren’t the only ones on the path to the Old Man, crossing the road was this handsome hairy fellow, the Northern Eggar moth. websize-1414

Skylarks provided a soundscape on the walk.websize-1409

Heath Milkwort.websize-1423

Evidence that the ravens, who escorted us part of the way, had been feasting on Crowberries.websize-1431

Lee showed us the tell tale marked leaves of the Heath Spotted-orchid. One of it’s Orkney names is Eve, with the Northern Marsh Orchid known as Adam.websize-1429websize-1427

Grasses waving to the Old Man where we stopped for a picnic.websize-1443

Angelica, Spoot girs, bursting through.websize-1453

A visit to the RSPB Eagle Watch station at the Dwarfie Stone car park on the way to Hoy Kirk Heritage Centre for a cup of tea before the mainlanders took the ferry back to Stromness. The Sea eagle chick was hanging out on the rock above the nest getting ready to fledge. Lee captured this great footage of the chick the week before watch here.


At Hoy Heritage Centre there was the opportunity to use the Effy Everiss Natural History Library – nearly 150 books, mostly on Flora. Whole books dedicated to dandelions, two on plant galls, a whole shelf given to mosses, fungi, lichen and ferns, and an almost compete collection of the Orkney Field Club bulletins. Did you know that Limnology is the scientific study of bodies of fresh water? All this knowledge available to everyone who visits us. A lovely gift and a great way to remember Effy and her love of Hoy.


Thank you everyone who came on the walk, to the RSPB, to Albert who drove the bus and big THANK YOU to Lee.


Orkney plant names courtesy of Time Dean and Anne Bignall’s The Orkney Book of Wildflowers, just one of Effy’s many books.

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