The Wildlife Information Centre

Biological data for south-east and part of central Scotland

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
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Excursion reports:


Excursions


TWIC organises a programme of excursions each year, some in conjunction with local recording groups. These excursions are planned primarily to obtain biodiversity data from sites across our region. Priority is usually given to sites proposed as Local Biodiversity Sites (pLBS), as this means that any data generated from the excursions can be used in the site assessment. Recorders of all groups of organisms are welcome. Whether or not you have been on one of our excursions before or are a newcomer you are most welcome to join us.

For information on previous year's recording excursions, please click on the links at the side of the page.

Recorders enjoying a visit to the Carberry Estate. Photograph courtesy of Christine Johnston.


Forthcoming Excursions - 2017



Sun 25 June - Chapelhope Burn, nr Loch of the Lowes (Scottish Borders)

Site details: Chapelhope Burn is located south-west of the Loch of the Lowes in Selkirk (site centred on NT221189, vice-county Selkirkshire 79). The site is noted for Juniper (Juniperus communis).

Leader: Sarah Eno, mob 07810492286, e-mail saraheno@riseup.net.

Aim: To generate a botanical species list and other species records for this proposed Local Biodiversity Site. When the site was surveyed in the 1970s Wilson's Filmy-fern (Hymenophyllum wilsonii), Beech Fern (Phegopteris connectilis), Mountain Male-fern (Dryopteris oreades) and Brittle Bladder-fern (Cystopteris fragilis) were recorded. There are also old records for Northern Brown Argus butterfly – from 1978 – for this area.

Meet: Meet at 10 am at the car park between St Mary’s Loch and Loch & Loch of the Lowes (NT237203) opposite the Glen Cafe on the A708. From there we will car share to the site.

Requirements: Waterproofs / sunscreen and sun hat (as weather dictates), walking books/ stout footwear and lunch.




Sun 9 July - Hermitage Wood and Airthrey Loch (Stirling)

Site details: Hermitage Wood and Airthrey Loch are located within the Stirling University campus (centred on NS813971 and NS811965 respectively) in the administrative area of Stirling and vice-county Stirlingshire 86. Airthrey Loch is an artificial loch noted for its bird life. Hermitage Wood is a broadleaved semi-natural and plantation woodland comprising Sycamore, Acer pseudoplatanus, Ash, Fraxinus excelsior and Oak, Quercus sp. with crags.

Leader: Graeme Wilson, mob 07889133347, e-mail graeme@wildlifeinformation.co.uk

Aim: To generate a botanical species list and other species data, including mammal sightings, for these two proposed Local Nature Conservation Sites. Longworth traps will be placed in Hermitage Wood the night before the outing and will be checked Sunday morning for captures and the mammals released. Once we have checked the traps we will explore the remainder of the wood and loch sites for wildlife present.

There is already good bird data for the campus from the Upper Forth Scottish Ornithologists Club (SOC); 106 bird species are recorded from this area! Some of the more interesting bird records include Spotted Flycatcher (breeding), Water Rail (single sighting), Tree Pipit (single sighting), Woodcock and wintering Whooper Swan. Previous mammal records for the campus include the 3 species of bat and the UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species, Red Squirrel (recorded 2014) and Water Vole (recorded 2006).

Meet: Meet at 10 am by the boat house at the west end of the Airthrey Loch (NS805966). There is plenty of car parking available on the university campus – but there is a parking charge of £5 for the day. There is free on-street parking nearby, for example along Alloa Road by Causewayhead Park (about 15 - 20 mins walk from the campus).

Requirements: Waterproofs / sunscreen and sun hat (as weather dictates), walking books/ stout footwear and lunch.




Sun 10 Sept - Whitmuir organic farm, Lamancha (Scottish Borders)

Site details: Whitmuir organic farm is located 16 miles south of Edinburgh near West Linton in the Scottish Borders (site centred on NT191510, vice-county 78 Peeblesshire). Whitmuir is a 54 ha mixed, upland farm at 267 metres altitude. The site comprises a mosaic of organic farmland, with hedgerows, mature trees, orchards, ponds etc. See: www.whitmuir.scot/ for more information.

Leader: Reuben Singleton and David Dodds. Contact (Reuben) mob 0778 3047398 e-mail reuben@tweedecology.co.uk

Aim: The particular focus of the outing will be on invertebrate recording, although recorders of other groups are of course welcome to attend. The only existing invertebrate records for the site on the TWIC database are 1 beetle record (7-spot Ladybird) and moth records from Reuben’s previous moth trapping sessions at the farm. A previous record of interest is the Scottish Borders locally rare moth, Haworth's Minor (Celaena haworthii). Records for other invertebrates are lacking, for example there are no existing dragonfly, bumblebee, spider or mollusc records for the site. There are also few bryophyte (mosses and liverworts) species listed.

Reuben will position moth traps around the grounds on the Saturday evening and on Sunday morning we will get a chance to see what we have caught and then proceed to explore the wider estate. If you would like to join Reuben on Saturday evening to see the traps go out, you are welcome – please contact him using the details above.

Meet: Meet at 10 am in the car park at Whitmuir organic farm (NT19165110, EH46 7BB). Directions to the farm can be found here. *Note* that there are several other Whitmuirs in the Scottish Borders, so make sure you check the grid reference or postcode before travelling!

Requirements: Waterproofs / sunscreen and sun hat (as weather dictates), walking boots/ outdoor footwear and lunch. There are toilets and a café at the site.



Notes:

1. Unless otherwise stated, there is no need to book a place on an excursion. However, those planning to attend should let TWIC or the excursion leader know, so that they can be notified if there is a change in plans.

2. For further information please contact the TWIC office (01875 825968) or email natalie@wildlifeinformation.co.uk.

3. Safety on excursions: Anyone attending a TWIC excursion does so at their own risk.

4. Anyone who can assist with transport to excursions, or who requires assistance with transport should contact TWIC who will endeavour to put recorders in contact with one another to arrange matters themselves.

5. The leader reserves the right to change or cancels outings as circumstances dictate.

6. The leader's mobile phone number is for contacting him/her on the day.

7. Records from excursions will be uploaded to the NBN Atlas Scotland.


TWIC is a company limited by guarantee - registered in Scotland No. SC234339. A recognised Scottish Charity SC034113. TWIC acknowledges financial support from Scottish Natural Heritage.