The SWT expedition yesterday was on probably the best day of the year so far weather-wise. I was able to do some good in the under-recorded 10 km square NG63 adding 10 new taxa:
Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens (Maidenhair Spleenwort) – only new at the subspecies level
Cirsium heterophyllum (Melancholy Thistle) (This one was found by Bill & Deirdre)
Conopodium majus (Pignut)
Cystopteris fragilis (Brittle Bladder-fern)
Fraxinus excelsior (Ash)
Gymnadenia borealis (Heath Fragrant-orchid)
Juncus bufonius (Toad Rush)
Melampyrum pratense (Common Cow-wheat)
Melampyrum as an epiphyte!
Silene dioica (Red Campion)
Rosa caesia subsp. vosagiaca (Glaucous Dog-rose)
Quite a few more plants were recorded for the first time in NG63 since before 2000 (often long before 2000) e.g. Allium ursinum (Ramsons), Chrysosplenium oppositifolium (Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage), Dryopteris filix-mas (Male-fern), Epilobium montanum (Broad-leaved Willowherb), Epilobium palustre (Marsh Willowherb), Pedicularis palustris (Marsh Lousewort), Polystichum aculeatum (Hard Shield-fern) and Selaginella selaginoides (Lesser Clubmoss).
Nick made two new county records of bryophytes: the hornwort Anthoceros punctatus on wet soil in Scalpay House garden and the leafy liverwort Calypogeia suecica on a decorticated rotten log.
I also enriched the list for tetrad NG62J, but pressing on…..
There were two places where the Holcus mollis (Creeping Soft-grass) was infected by the gall-causing fungus Epichloë clarkii:
This is a “choke” fungus that prevents flowering. Kew has no recent collection from Scotland so I am sending them a specimen.
I saw my first Carex smut of the year – the relatively common Anthracoidea karii on Carex echinata (Star Sedge) and the intertidal pools at one point had the alien seaweed Codium fragile:
Codium fragile “Green Sea Fingers”
Part of the shore with cliffs and caves had a nice collection of ferns including Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart’s-tongue), Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens (Maidenhair Spleenwort), Hymenophyllum wilsonii (Wilson’s Filmy-fern), Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern) and Polystichum aculeatum (Hard Shield-fern).
Osmunda regalis on Scalpay
Jean, Marie, Bill & Deirdre found the Nuphar lutea (Yellow Water-lily) doing well at its known site and Jean has a nice picture a flower with Enallagma cyathigerum (Common Blue Damselfly) on it. Other damsels and dragons were seen including Pyrrhosoma nymphula (Large Red Damselfly, Cordulegaster boltonii (Golden-ringed Dragonfly) and Aeshna juncea (Common Hawker)
A couple of adders had been seen the previous two days on the path that I walked but I missed them. David and Jeanette saw a common lizard and toads (or at least, toad tadpoles).