Friday, 30 May 2014

Barbilophozia barbata

Found growing on a rock beside the water at Tweedhope Burn, Corehead - a superb moss which in my mind is now officially christened, "Farfalle-wort". One thing to note is that it has up to four lobes.

BBS field guide page

Thursday, 29 May 2014

BBS Regional meeting, Dumfriesshire, 24-26th May 2014 - DAY 3 - Corehead: Tweedhope Burn

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

On day three we headed out to a Borders Woodlands Trust site at Corehead: here

We walked north up the Tweedhope Burn, which is unmarked in this map at this level of zoom, but is in between The Skirtle and Cocklaw knowe

Once again we started in rain, and once again it cleared after giving us a good showering (and dampening my notepad) before leaving us in peace with mostly sunshine. The day started off with some new additions to the crew from the Corehead staffers, and we began with some gentle introduction to a few of the commoner species (it's all there was!). However we managed to ramp up from commoner species to something pretty cool when a rock face covered with Tetradontium was discovered (pics below). New species began slowly to drip onto the list and when we departed fairly early to return home a good few species had been added. I have no idea what the day's total was though. Nicest for me was to see a handful of new hepatics, with Scapania compacta and Barbilophozia barbata my personal best finds.

As before, the story in pictures:

Another wet start

Tetradontium - four teeth


Tetradontium 'leaves'!

Bartramia - apple Moss

Scapania gracilis

Ptychomitrium polyphyllum

Ptychomitrium polyphyllum

Scapania compacta

Barbilophozia barbata

Jungermania cordifolia

Interest away from bryophytes punctuated the day once more (for me at least!) with A nice purple Milkwort, a Setaceous Hebrew Character moth I found on a fencepost, a Stonefly, and some other things not photographed, like the Orange Tip butterflies on the Cuckooflower and a Tree Pipit that put on a show for us at lunchtime.


Setaceous Hebrew Character


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Scapania gracilis

Got a bit of spare time last night and couldn't resist getting out the microscope. One of my favourite things over the weekend was coming across three new spp. of Scapania (for me) - nemorea, gracilis and compacta. I still have nemorea in a packet I think so I may 'do' that one later. In the meantime here's a small tribute to S.gracilis. As the field guide says, "generally untidy appearance ... non-appressed lobes ... 3-dimensional... forms large cushions".

Scapania gracilis

BBS field guide page

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

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

BBS Regional meeting, Dumfriesshire, 24-26th May 2014 - DAY 1 - Blackhope

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

A superb weekend where the weather was more or less kind to us, saw c.175 species identified over the three days. We managed to connect with two of the target species, with one moss and one hepatic.

Day one saw us meeting in the centre of Moffat, with some slightly late arrivals (us!) holding up the show a bit before we got underway. The weather remained overcast but not hostile, and we enjoyed a pleasant meandering ascent along the length of the burn, starting in NT1410 up Blackhope Burn and then following Nether Coomb Sike.

Over the course of the day we managed a very healthy 130 spp. with the pick of the day undoubtedly the targetted Oedipodium griffithianum - photographed poorly below. This was quite late in the day, so it made for quite a fitting end. We did proceed a little further up before calling it quits.

An overcast start

Dichodontium palustre

Bryum pseudotriquetrum contrasting nicely

The commonly encountered (here) Breutelia chrysocoma

Frullania tamarisci - always prompts hand lens discussions!

Fuzzy Racomitrium lanuginosum
A nice broad landscape

Anomobryum julaceum

Grimmia donniana


Polytrichum strictum at home in a Sphagnum mound

The star turn - Oedopodium! (spectacular ...)

There were also a few interesting vascular plants ...


Common Sundew

Parsley Fern

And meandering back down again