The Wildlife Information Centre

Biological data for south-east and part of central Scotland

Crane flies (Tipula sp)
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Excursion reports 2019

6 excursions were organised in 2019, the majority to proposed Local Biodiversity Sites (pLBS) and one to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). 39 different individuals attended the outings, collectively contributing 53 field work days to TWIC. In total, 1,612 species records were submitted to TWIC from the excursions. Thank you to everyone who attended, especially the following who led outings for TWIC in 2019: Douglas McKean, Katty Baird and Michael Scott. Thanks also to the landowners and land managers who gave us permission to access their sites. Data from the TWIC excursions can be viewed on the NBN Atlas Scotland.



Straiton Pond - Midlothian, Sat 18 May 2019 (NT282667)

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

Leaders
Douglas McKean and Natalie Harmsworth
Number of species records
300
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, birds, fungi, insects - alderflies (Megaloptera), beetles (Coleoptera), hymenopteran & true flies (Diptera) - lichens, molluscs, mosses and terrestrial mammals.
Highlights
Lothian Locally Rare plants included: Water-plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica), Mare's-tail (Hippuris vulgaris), Knotted Pearlwort (Sagina nodosa) and White Campion (Silene latifolia). We also noted the neophyte, Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum angustifolium) on site. A neophyte means "recent introduction" and is defined as any naturalised plant that was introduced to the UK after 1500. 25 bird species were recorded. Ash Dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) was a less welcome sighting.

Ladybird parasitised by Dinocampus coccinellae. Photograph courtesy of Dorothy Lyle.


Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum). Image courtesy of nature protector Natubico; www.vivism. CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0).

Broomridge - Stirling, Sat 1 June 2019 (NS801915)

Leader
Natalie Harmsworth (TWIC)
Number of species records
282
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, birds, acarine (Acari), fungi, insects - beetles (Coleoptera), butterflies and hymenopteran - mosses and terrestrial mammals.
Highlights
No especially notable plant species were found, but the variety of habitats on site produced a list of 144 vascular plant species. Lowlights were the presence of several invasive non-native plants - Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and Indian Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera). Crocosmia which has been planted to beautify the verge also appeared to be invading damp grassland where Common Spotted-orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) grow.

Braidburn Valley Park - Edinburgh, Wed 5 June 2019 (NT241698)

This was a joint meeting with the Botanical Society of Scotland (BSS).

Leader
Natalie Harmsworth (TWIC)
Number of species records
384
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, birds, fungi, insects - hymenopteran and true flies (Diptera) - and mosses.
Highlights
Botanical highlights included the Lothians Local Rarities - Dewberry (Rubus caesius), White Campion (Silene latifolia), Hybrid Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica x palustris = S. x ambigua) and Water Figwort (Scrophularia auriculata), although the later is questionably native in the Lothians. Introduced plants included the garden plant Giant Scabious (Cephalaria gigantea), which is native to the Caucasus and Siberia, Giant Butterbur (Petasites japonicus) and Winter Heliotrope (Petasites pyrenaucus - formerly P. fragrans).

Recording wildflowers at Braidburn Valley Park. Photograph courtesy of the Friends of Braidburn Valley Park.


Invertebrate sampling at Calderwood. Photo by Jackie Stewart.

Calderwood SSSI - West Lothian, Sat 6 July 2019 (NT074665)

Leaders
Katty Baird and Jackie Stewart
Number of species records
98
Groups recorded
The focus of the session was invertebrate recording. The following groups were recorded: spiders (Araneae), millipedes, molluscs, Acarine (Acari), harvestman (Opiliones), crustacean and the insects - moths, beetles (Coleoptera), butterflies, dragonflies (Odonata), hymenopteran, lacewings (Neuroptera), mayflies (Ephemeroptera), orthopteran, true bugs (Hemiptera), true flies (Diptera). Also some birds!
Highlights
3 locally rare spiders (Clubiona stagnatilis, Agyneta innotabilis and Micaria pulicaria) and 2 locally rare molluscs (Vulgar Slug, Arion (Arion) vulgaris and Brown Snail, Zenobiella subrufescens).

Fullarton Water - Midlothian, Sat 3 August 2019 (NT284572)

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

Leader
Douglas McKean (BSBI Recorder Emeritus)
Number of species records
253
Groups recorded
Vascular plants and stoneworts, liverworts and mosses, amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, fungi, insects - beetles (Coleoptera), butterflies, dragonflies (Odonata), hymenopteran, moths, orthopteran, true bugs (Hemiptera), true flies (Diptera) - and spiders (Araneae).
Highlights
The most interesting plants were associated with the calcareous flushes, and included a host of Lothians Local Rarities including Few-flowered Spike-rush (Eleocharis quinqueflora), Broad-leaved Cottongrass (Eriophorum latifolium), Long-stalked Yellow-sedge (Carex viridula subsp. brachyrrhyncha), Dioecious Sedge (Carex dioica), Tawny Sedge (Carex hostiana), the hybrid Sedge (Carex hostiana x viridula = C. x fulva), Grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia palustris), Knotted Pearlwort (Sagina nodosa), Creeping Willow (Salix repens) and Fragile Stonewort (Chara globularis). Other plants of interest included Unbranched Bur-reed (Sparganium emersum) and Marsh Lousewort (Pedicularis palustris). 2 amphibians were found - Common Toad and Common Frog.

Grasshopper at Fullarton Water. Photograph courtesy of Sarah Adamson.


Looking for bryophytes by the Hermitage Water on the hottest day of the year! Photo courtesy of Michael Scott.

Hermitage Water and Buckstone Moss - Scottish Borders, Sun 25 August 2019 (NY502961)

Leaders
Michael Scott
Number of species records
294
Groups recorded
Vascular plants, lichens, fungi, birds, amphibians and reptiles, butterflies and spiders (Araneae).
Highlights
Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos) - Local in the Scottish Borders - Grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia palustris) and Marsh Valerian (Valeriana dioica). A Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) was flushed on the moss. We also saw a Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara) and Common Toad (Bufo bufo).

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.