Coll The Coll Magazine

Article by Pat Graham (2000)

Not recorded but living on Coll!
Another first for Coll, no another first, never recorded before anywhere.

The humble Ragged Robin, much loved by the wild flower expert, and now in seed packets for planting has got itself into the record books.

Many wild flowers particularly red and pink coloured ones occasionally throw up white forms. This can be seen in the Lousewort which is normally red and has been found in the Hebrides in a white form.

While tramping across the Totronald plain I was stunned and stood still. The camera was poised and the shot taken, I wondered if it would come out or was it to be wasted.

You know what happens, you forget to send the film off, or it gets put to one side, and it was four used films later that the results returned and I casually glanced through to find a perfect picture of a 'White Ragged Robin'.

Hmm, I thought, I wonder if this is a first looking all through my library of natural history books. There was no mention of it. So a quick phone call to my contact in the Glasgow Natural History Society. 'Hey I found a White Ragged Robin, and I have a picture of it.'

'We will get back to you,' was the reply. Two days later I was asked to send the picture and a report off to the botanical recorder of Argyll.

Well, the lady actually works for SNH and as myself and SNH are not the best of friends at the moment, I wondered if I was doing the right thing.

Well, it turns out that it is a first and I have been asked to advertise in the Botanical Society of the British Isles for other sightings. From this information I will be able to work out its distribution. So far one other sighting has been found on Tiree, but its rarer than the Crex Crex. Unless of course there are 16 million of them in Russia!

Pat Graham
Images associated with this article:-

A White Ragged Robin
Coll Magazine - Article by Pat Graham

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2007 The Coll Magazine