Archive for August, 2009

Poa flexuosa

August 31, 2009

Wavy Meadow-grass (Poa flexuosa) is a Nationally Rare plant and has been found for the first time in the vice-county by Ian Green and Tom MacDonald in the Trotternish Ridge SSSI while doing Site Condition Monitoring for SNH.

The BSBI maps scheme only shows 11 ten kilometre squares for this plant in the whole of the British Isles, so this makes a twelfth. Very exciting!

Potential Windfarm Site Again

August 23, 2009

Yesterday I spent my second day surveying a potential wind farm site – see blog entry for 9 June.  I added a further 24 species making a total of 186.  My conclusions are unaffected – from a botanical point of view the moorland looks a reasonable place to put a wind farm

Caraway

August 23, 2009

There is only one place known for Carum verticillatum (Whorled Caraway) in the whole of vice-county 104. Yesterday, I checked up on it whilst passing to find that it is doing fine – perhaps a hundred plants along 100m stretch of burn near the road at Sligachan.  This is pretty much the northern limit for it in the British Isles apart from one site where it has been introduced on the Scottish mainland. 

I do wonder about an old record from the Glendale area for Carum carvi (Caraway) – perhaps it was really C. verticillatum?

Campanula on Skye

August 20, 2009

Following my comments here on the scarcity of harebells on Skye, Martin Perry reports some plants at Loch Coruisk in July, which is excellent.  Following my visit to Muck, (and last year’s to Eigg) where this plant is more common, I have been wondering if the southwestern area of Skye might yield more records if visited in July and August but I am not sure that I am going to make it there in time this year.

More Muck

August 20, 2009

The following native plants found during my recent trip are probably new to Muck.  In a couple of cases it is hard to be sure as there are previous records for NM48 which covers most of Eigg and a part of Muck.  However, they are not shown as present on Muck in “The Botanist in Skye and Adjacent Islands”:

Agrostis vinealis  Brown Bent
Carex lasiocarpa  Slender Sedge 
Carex x fulva          C. hostiana x viridula
Juncus ambiguus Frog Rush
Polygonum oxyspermum subsp. raii   Ray’s Knotgrass
Rosa caesia subsp. glauca  Glaucous Dog-rose
Spergularia media   Greater Sea-spurrey

Polygonum oxyspermum on Muck

Polygonum oxyspermum on Muck

There were also a number of additions involving aggregates or subspecies and quite a few planted tree species or garden escapes.

As well as Campanula rotundifolia (Harebell), Parnassia palustris (Grass of Parnassus) and Anagallis tenella (Bog Pimpernel) were noticeably common. 

The single old specimen of Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima (Sea Beet) on a rock ledge was looking in rude health and Carex paniculata (Greater Tussock-sedge) was present in profusion in many areas of the island.

The End of An Stac

The End of An Stac

Gentians

August 19, 2009

Pat Mucklow reports hundreds of Gentianella campestris (Field Gentian) at a site near Broadford, though the recent gales have meant that the flowers have been battered to death.

A Little Bit of Muck

August 19, 2009

More to follow when I have sorted out my records but in the first instance….

I had 48 hours on Muck, with rather wet weather at times but it dried up later in the day.

Base Camp

Base Camp

I have had to alter my comments on Campanula rotundifolia (Harebell) made before I went as this turns out to be common all over Muck.

Campanula rotundifolia on Muck

Campanula rotundifolia on Muck

Records of locally uncommon plants and things I didn’t find will have to wait for now….

No Oysterplant on Skye

August 8, 2009

As per my thoughts on 29th July, Anne and Robert Arnold have tried to find Mertensia maritima (Oysterplant) at the most likely old Skye sites, but they did not find any  – I also failed a couple of years ago.

Still, it may turn up again in the general area.

Current Plans

August 8, 2009

I am nearly home after over a week away owing to the birth of a new grand-daughter (Megan Grace).  I never felt a thing. Almost as soon as we get home I plan to set off for Muck and from there to Edinburgh for the festival so there will be another pause in blog posts I am afraid.

Rum

August 8, 2009

Kevin Walker has been on Rum where he surveyed 17 Threatened Plant Project populations from the 2009 and 2008 lists so VC104 is now very well covered for both last year and this year.  He recorded
Vicia orobus x9
Coeloglossum viride x4
Gentianella campestris x3
Gnaphalium sylvaticum x1
 
Highlights were new sites for Gnaphalium (Kilmory), Hammarbya (Samhnan Insir), Rhynchospora fusca (Loch nan Eala, Kinloch glen) and Ajuga pyramidalis (at least two new tetrads).