Friday, 8 July 2016

Botanical recording in Dingwall

Kirsty, Fay, Brian & Maud, Dingwall shore
Image: M. Dean 
Mary Dean has been in touch to tell us about last weekend's joint BSS /BSBI field meeting at Dingwall. Over to Mary:

"On 2nd July 2016 Brian Ballinger, County Recorder for Easter Ross, assisted by Mary Dean, ran a joint BSS / BSBI meeting at Dingwall. The two aims of the recording meeting were to update records for BSBI and also contribute to the BSS Urban Flora project.

"We were joined by four keen botanists and started off in Silver Jubilee Wood, a narrow strip of woodland within the town. We spent most of the morning in the wood, identifying a number of woodland species such as Enchanter’s-nightshade (Circaea lutetiana), Wood Avens (Geum urbanum), Wood-sedge (Carex sylvatica) and an impressive specimen of Common Figwort (Scrophularia nodosa) (see photo below).  

Maud & Kirsty with the impressive Figwort!
Image: M. Dean
"The flora was surprisingly diverse for a town wood, yielding three species of orchid: Bird’s-nest Orchid (Neottia nidus-avis), Common Twayblade (Neottia ovata) and Common Spotted-orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).

"Fungi expert Bruce Ing showed us Burgundydrop Bonnet (Mycena haematopus), a small reddish fungus that ‘bleeds’ when its stalk is broken. Although BSBI does not include fungi records, the record was useful for the BSS project which includes bryophytes and fungi.

"On the route to the park for lunch we recorded some typical urban species and the less common Mossy Stonecrop (Crassula tillaea), growing abundantly on the gravelly path. The weather held as we lunched at a picnic table in the park.

Bruce Ing (centre) shows the group
Burgundydrop Bonnet
Image: M. Dean
"In the afternoon we followed the path along the banks of the River Peffery, stopping to explore an area of waste ground. Here we recorded our fourth orchid species, Northern Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella), a good number of species for an urban setting. 

"We continued along the path to reach the shore where we found both Eelgrass (Zostera marina) and Dwarf Eelgrass (Z. noltei) before returning along the opposite riverbank. A most enjoyable day and plenty of sharing of knowledge".

Brian, Fay & Maud, Dingwall shore
Image: M. Dean 
Many thanks to Mary for this report. If it has whetted your appetite, check out the list of field meetings here - some will be fully-booked but some still have spaces - contact the organiser to enquire. 

Or check out your local botany group and see what field meetings they are planning. 

Beginners are welcome on our field meetings, although a specialist training or recording meeting is probably not the best place to start! Look out for meetings marked 'General' - they're a great way to dip a toe in the water and see if you want to get involved in botany!