Saturday, 7 June 2014

BSBI Summer Meeting: Part Six

Pseudorchis albida, Keltneyburn
J. MacKinnon 7/6/2014
Report in from Jon Shanklin on one of today's Perthshire fieldtrips, this one to Keltneyburn and Schiehallion – Leader Jim McIntosh.  

Jon says "The morning was spent at the Scottish Wildlife Trust site, which is part of the Keltneyburn SSSI.  We first went along the track to view Melampyrum sylvaticum, which 'coincidentally' Jim needed to assess for a site condition survey! We found 89 flowering plants.  

"It was then down the track a short way to the species rich Balchroich meadow, with Meum athamanticum, Persicaria vivipara and Pseudorchis albida and a plant that seemed to key to Picris hieracoides, though it has never been seen there previously.  Jim will return in a few weeks for further surveys and will report back!  

Botanists at Schiehallion
Image: J. Shanklin
"After lunch overlooking the meadow we headed for Schiehallion, which has a pavement of Dalradian limestone (approx 540 my old), very different to those of Carboniferous limestone (only 330 my old).  Here we immediately saw Asplenium viride, debated which Polygala we had (in the end both), admired Antennaria dioica and heard a Cuckoo.  With time passing and storm clouds looming, Jim took us down to a small burn, passing Genista anglica on the way. 

"Here we saw several different sedges and rushes, but time was up and we had to return.  We had been in the cars no more than five minutes before the rain started, bang on the time forecast by the meteorologist and recorder of the day!"