Common frog - (losgann) - Rana temporaria
Frogs can grow up to 11cm long but are usually smaller, and females are larger than males. They are very variable in colour, being typically brown with black markings, but can also be yellowish, beige, greenish or reddish. Frogs are readily distinguishable from toads by their smooth, most skin; toad skin is warty and relatively dry.
Large black slug - (seilcheag mhor dhubh) - Arion ater
This widespread and generally common slug is the largest British species, and occurs in a wide variety of habitats including woodland, grassland and moorland. Slugs need to avoid desiccation, are mostly nocturnal and during dry periods remain amongst vegetation or even burrow deep into the soil.
Craneflies - (Corra-bhainne) - Tipulidae Craneflies
Daddy-long-legs, are a familiar group of two-winged flies occurring in most habitats. The greatest variety of species is associated with damp or wet habitats. Adults have one pair of narrow membranous wings attached to the thorax, with club-shaped balancers behind, prominent long dangling legs which break off easily if handled and in most species a slender body.
Snipe - (budagochd) - Gallinago gallinago
Snipe are medium sized, skulking wading birds with short legs and long straight bills. Both sexes are mottled brown above, with paler buff stripes on the back, dark streaks on the chest and pale under parts. Click play on the sound clip below to hear a snipe calling.
Strathy Strangler - Squamanita pearsonii
Only three localities of this parasitic fungus have been recorded in 1950 and 2004 (in Strathy) and 2007 in Wales. It parasitizes other fungus by strangling it.
Birdsfoot Trefoil - Lotus corniculatus
It is a perennial herbaceous plant, similar in appearance to some clovers. The flowers develop into small pea-like pods. The name 'bird's foot' refers to the appearance of the seed pods on their stalk. There are five leaflets, but with the central three held conspicuously above the others, hence the use of the name trefoil. It has been used as hay, the source for yellow dye and for the treating of styes around the eyes.
Purple Oxytropis - Oxytropis halleri
A small, rare, alpine flower that makes Strathy standout as an important area in terms of vegetation. Flowering in the summer with blue-purple flowers and grows to 6-8 inches high and 10 inches wide. Both leaves and stalks are covered in fine silver hairs.
Primrose - (sobhrach) - Primula scotica
Primula scotica is easily distinguished from other Primula by its bluish purple flowers. It flowers in May and often has a second flowering in July. It is endemic to the north coast of Scotland and Orkney. Its close relative the yellow primrose can also be found in the area and have been used as food, candied and made into wine.
Spring Squill - (Lear-uinnean) - Scilla subsp
Verna Spring squill likes cliff-tops and maritime heaths, with short grass. This wildflower is a member of the lily family and grows from a bulb. The grassy leaves of spring squill come out in early spring followed soon by it's pale violet-blue star-like flowers. (Very occasionally the flowers are white) The plant grows to about 15cm or 6 inches tall. Spring squill has blue anthers, these are the parts on the ends of the stamens which carry the pollen grains. This wildflower flowers April - June.
Nettle - (Deanntag) - Urtica dioica
Stinging nettles are a common sight all over the north of Scotland. They have stinging hairs and while the nature of the toxin is still under debate the hairs contain formic acid, serotonin and histamine. A common treatment for the sting is to cruch up some dock leaves (Rumex obtusifolius) and apply this to the affected area. Nettles have been eaten as they contain moderately high levels of calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and vitamins A and C. They were a welcome replacement to spinach in the second World War. Nettles have also been used to trate rheumatism and extracts can be found in current day body building products.
Rowan - (luis) - Sorbus aucuparia
Leaves are grouped into fronds which are typically 10-20cm long, with individual leaflets that are typically 3-6cm long. Recognitiion is especially easy in September when the tree produces bright red berries. Its wood is hard and heavy and was used to make wheels, flooring, ladders, bows or oars. Its bark was used in the tanning of animal hides. Rowan was often planted near to homes as it was believed to confer protection against witchcraft. It was tied to cows tails to ward of fairies and grown in graveyards to discourage the dead from rising. Rowan berries make a delicious dark orange jelly, with a sharp marmalade flavour, that goes well with game and lamb. You can download a recipe here. They were also used as bait to catch songbirds and provided red dye. The sap of the Rowan tree was used to flavour ales and higher spirits.