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Biological data for south-east and part of central Scotland

Red Campion (Silene dioica)
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Excursion report 2016

11 excursions were organised in 2016 - the majority to proposed Local Biodiversity Sites (pLBS). 62 different individuals attended the outings, collectively contributing 94 volunteer days to TWIC. Thank you to everyone who attended, especially the following who led outings for TWIC in 2016: Gary Hovell, Douglas McKean, David Long, Liz Lavery, Sarah Eno, Michael Scott, David Chamberlain and Pat Batty. Thanks also to the landowners and land managers who gave us permission to access their sites.



Water of Leith - Currie to East Mills Bridge, 15th May 2016 (NT187678)

Leader
Douglas McKean (Recorder Emeritus, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI)) and Natalie Harmsworth (TWIC)
Number of species records
159
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, birds, butterflies
Highlights
Several locally rare plants: Alternate-leaved Golden-saxifrage (Chrysosplenium alternifolium), Hybrid Avens (Geum rivale x urbanum = G. x intermedium) and Celery-leaved Buttercup (Ranunculus sceleratus). A number of invasive non-native species were also noted such as Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) plus garden escapes like Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa).

Celery-leaved Buttercup (Ranunculus sceleratus). Photograph courtesy of Mike Beard.


Male Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris). Photograph courtesy of LARG

Little Boghead, 20 & 21st May 2016 (NS965680)

This was a joint meeting with the Lothian Amphibian and Reptile Group (LARG).

Leader
Gary Hovell (Lothian Amphibian and Reptile Group, LARG)
Number of species records
4
Groups recorded
Amphibians
Highlights
Both Smooth (Lissotriton vulgaris) and Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus) adults and an eft were recorded plus a Common Frog (Rana temporaria). More photographs from the outing can be found on LARG's Facebook page.

Duns Castle SWT Reserve, 19th June 2016 (NT778553)

This was a joint meeting with the Borders bryophyte group.

Leader
David Long (British Bryological Society (BBS) vice-county recorder for Berwickshire and Peebleshire (vc81 and 78)
Number of species records
410
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), fungi, birds and a few molluscs and amphibians.
Highlights
154 vasulcar plants were recorded, the highlights being Moschatel (Adoxa moschatellina; pictured), Soft Shield-fern (Polystichum setiferum) and Common Wintergreen (Pyrola minor). Of the 83 bryophyte (mosses and liverworts) species recorded, the most interesting were Blueish Veilwort (Metzgeria fruticulosa), Petty Pocket-moss (Fissidens pusillus), Hartman's Grimmia (Grimmia hartmanii) and Drummond's Pincushion (Ulota drummondii). A good number of fungi were also noted - 53 in total.

Moschatel (Adoxa moschatellina). Photo courtesy of Andy Swales.


The group botanising on the former site of the curling pond. Photograph courtesy of Roy Sexton.

Blackmuir Wood, 26th June 2016 (NS871952)

Leader
Liz Lavery (Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) vice-county 87 West Perthshire recorder)
Number of species records
294
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, bryophyes (mosses and liverworts), birds and an amphibian.
Highlights
Botanical highlights included White Sedge (Carex canescens); Hedgerow Crane's-bill (Geranium pyrenaicum) - First record for vc87; Hop (Humulus lupulus) - First record since 2000 for vc87; Northern Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella); Marsh Cinquefoil (Comarum palustre); Marsh Pennywort (Hydrocotyle vulgaris); and Bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata).

Tima Water - Meerlees to White Sike, 9th July 2016 (NT280127)

Leader
Sarah Eno
Number of species records
246
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), birds, butterflies and a few amphibians and reptiles, bees, moths and mammals.
Highlights
David Long found 3 bryophytes new to Selkirkshire - Ghostwort (Aneura (Cryptothallus) mirabilis) - the UK's only white liverwort - Fingered Cowlwort (Colura calyptrifolia) and Fairy Beads (Microlejeunea ulicina). The most interesting vascular plant finds were Melancholy Thistle (Cirsium heterophyllum), Marsh Valerian (Valeriana dioica), Beech Fern (Phegopteris connectilis) and the Twayblade orchids, Listera cordata and L. ovata.

The group were in good spirits despite the weather! Photograph courtesy of Andy Swales.


Small Scabious (Scabiosa columbaria). Photograph: Natalie Harmsworth

Carham Station Limeworks, 16th July 2016 (NT790370)

Leader
Michael Scott
Number of species records
237
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, butterflies, bees, mammals and a few moths, fungi, birds, bryophytes, beetles and molluscs.
Highlights
The botanical highlights were Salad Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba), Small Scabious (Scabiosa columbaria; see picture) and Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis). We also found the locally rare moth, Red Carpet (Xanthorhoe decoloraria). Michael Scott re-visited the site after the excursion and managed to re-find a couple of plants of Hoary Plantain (Plantago media).

Disused Railway - Dalry to Blinkbonny, 31st July 2016 (NT229737)

Leader
Natalie Harmsworth (TWIC)
Number of species records
640
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), birds, bumblebees, fungi and a few mammals, flies and beetles.
Highlights
Botanical highlights were Black Spleenwort (Asplenium adiantumnigrum), Black Bent (Agrostis gigantea), Wild Onion (Allium vineale), Bloody Crane's-bill (Geranium sanguineum) and the garden escape Achillea macrophylla. They say "save the best for last" and this was certainly the case on this outing. As we came to the end of the excursion we found an interesting patch of disturbed ground near the railway where we identified Fern Grass (Catapodium rigidum; pictured), Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), Annual Pearlwort (Sagina apetala), Hare's-foot Clover (Trifolium arvense) and Squirreltail Fescue (Vulpia bromoides).

Fern Grass (Catapodium rigidum). Photograph courtesy of Natalie Harmsworth.


1 of 4 bumblebees recorded on the outing, a Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). Photograph courtesy of David Palmar (photo taken at Vogrie).

Disused Railway - Pilton to Newhaven, 6th August 2016 (NT249762)

This was a joint meeting with the Edinburgh Natural History Society (ENHS).

Leader
Graeme Wilson (TWIC)
Number of species records
410
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), bees, mammals, birds, butterflies, plus a few flies, true bugs, fish and a beetle.
Highlights
177 vascular plants recorded and 21 bryophytes. The moss Short Pottia (Hennediella macrophylla), which in Scotland is only known from the Tweed Valley and NE Scotland, was an unexpected find.

North Esk Valley SSSI, 13th August 2016 (NT155581)

Leader
David Chamberlain (British Bryological Society (BBS) recorder for the Lothians)
Number of species records
182
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), plus a few birds, bees and butterflies.
Highlights
119 vascular plants and 53 bryophyte species recorded, including Atlantic Pawwort (Barbilophozia atlantica) on mildly base-rich outcrops.

Common rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium). Photo: Natalie Harmsworth, from another site.


Common Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus vespilloides). Photograph courtesy of Mike Beard

Delph Pond and Wood, 20th August 2016 (NS862949)

This was a joint meeting with the Inner Forth Landscapes Initiative (IFLI).

Leader
Pat Batty (Scottish Dragonfly recorder, British Dragonfly Society)
Number of species records
162
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), amphibians, bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), plus a few fungi, bees, beetles and other insects.
Highlights
The weather was not kind to us, so we did not see any adult dragonflies on the wing. However, we did identify two species of dragonfly larvae in the pond - a Blue-tailed Damselfly and Large Red Damselfly. Pat Batty also was able to show participants a variety of exuviae of other species. The site provided a few botanical surprises, including Narrow-leaved Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium subsp. sphondylium var. angustifolium) new to vc87 and Fool's Parsley (Aethusa cynapium), which has only 15 other records for VC87. The striking carrion beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides (photographed) was also interesing to see. There is a new recording scheme for Carrion Beetles (Silphidae), see: www.coleoptera.org.uk/home.

Gallowberry Wood/ Hill, 25th September 2016 (NT129440)

This was a joint meeting with the Borders bryophyte group.

Leader
David Long (British Bryological Society (BBS) vice-county recorder for Berwickshire and Peebleshire (vc81 and 78)
Number of species records
435
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), fungi, plus a few birds, beetles, lichens, insects and amphibians.
Highlights
Highlights included the bryophytes Lesser Notchwort (Lophozia bicrenata), Hill Notchwort (Lophozia sudetica), Clay Earth-moss (Archidium alternifolium), Drummond's Thread-moss (Pohlia drummondii) and Lesser Fringe-moss (Racomitrium affine). A good variety of fungi were noted including the aptly named Hedgehog Fungus (Hydnum repandum), which has whitish spines on the underside of the cap rather than gills.

Buff-tailed Bumblebee mating pair (Bombus terrestris). Photo courtesy of David Adamson.

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.