Wednesday, 28 May 2014

BBS Regional meeting, Dumfriesshire, 24-26th May 2014 - DAY 2 - Selcoth Burn to Croft Head

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Day 2 began in pouring rain, which fortunately abated as we approached the beginning of recording. We did manage to scoop some epiphytes from an obliging elder while it was still pouring, but in the end the weather opened up and rarely bothered us again aside from overheating in the sunshine! We really made the most of it on day two with a return to town after 8 o'clock. I have to confess that towards the end I was happy to leave any moss-bothering to the more eager members of the crew while I and others who shall not be named lazed on the grass thinking of dinner. We made our way up Selcoth Burn in the shadow of Brokenback Mountain Hill before following the easier ridge down back to the cars.

This was another cracking recording day with the tally up over 130, and we were undoubtedly rewarded for pushing on to the summit with a trio of Tetraplodon and Splachna. The efforts along the scree slope were not so abundantly rewarded but they did turn up some alpina - at least Polytrichastrum alpinum and Andrea alpina and I found some Tritomaria quinquedentata, which was a nice one for me. I also started to develop my camera-handlens technique during this day and I'm sure I'll make a lot more use of it in future. It was very helpful when trying to work out Gymnomitrion concinnatum, another of the species which we found above 500m. I had thought until I was writing this that the Tetraplodon was a sheep poo species like the Splachnums we found, but apparently it's a carnivore dung specialist, making it an even more intriguing and fulfilling trio to grab.

The story in pictures:

Food? Are you bringing food?

A wet start

Palustriella falcata


A new Metgeria for me - conjugata

Beautiful scenery all day

Pogonatum aloides

Preissia quadrata

Jungermania sp.

There were some splendid spreads, including this Philonotis

We all screem for nice scree

Polytrichastrum alpinum

Stag's horn club moss

More nice scenery

Gymnomitrion concinnatum

Tetraplodon mnioides
Aside from bryophytes there was a healthy population of frogs up on the hill, and some interesting beetle action

One of the bigger ones

Spectacular Dung beetle Geotrupes stercorarius
Large click beetle - Ctenciera cuprea

Also on Meadwsweet we found the rust Triphragmium ulmariae


  1. The Click Beetle's almost certainly Ctenciera cuprea

    1. I figured it might be identifiable! Cheers. There was another of the same size which was a uniform purple. Any ideas?