Thursday, 8 June 2017

BSBI Summer Meeting: Report from Day Three

Tom Humphrey, winner of the Presidents' Award 2017,
manages to get some time out in the field
Image: J. Crellin
Here's the latest despatch from Jon Shanklin, organiser of the BSBI Summer Meeting:

"Wednesday was the first day where carloads went out to record tetrads in small groups. We had the nicer side of Welsh weather, as although it was still breezy there were sunny intervals and no rain. 

"With botanists scattered over the county it is difficult to say what they all did, but usually they progressed quite slowly, sometimes simply thoroughly covering one monad. 

A white Pyramidal Orchid
Image: J. Crellin
"Many groups made interesting finds, though what constituted unusual differed from group to group. 

"An unknown umbellifer found by one group was quickly identified as Sison amomum by me as it is a common plant in my county, Cambridgeshire, but a scarce one in Flintshire and more northerly counties. 

"One group found Catapodium marinum along the A55 where it loves the salted road verges, but was previously a rare plant in the county. Another halophyte rarity was found by a group, with Erodium marinum found in its more normal seaside setting.

"Many identifications were made back at the hotel, and after dinner we had a wonderful talk from Goronwy Wynne, the Emeritus County Recorder for Flintshire, who took us through the history of botanical recording in the county, for example linking Thomas Pennant with Charles Darwin.

Restharrow seen on the Summer Meeting
Image: J. Crellin
"Goronwy recounted the tale of how Darwin's children had drawn moustaches on the faces of monkeys in the book on quadrupeds written by Pennant, and sent to Darwin whilst he was voyaging on the Beagle. 
Botanists in a field of Yellow Rattle
Image: J. Crellin

"He also commented on the commonest species in Flintshire and some of the notable ones, such as Spartina anglica deliberately introduced to the Dee Estuary to stabilise mudflats and eventually changing the course of the main river channel.

"Tomorrow some rain is forecast first thing, so many groups may well make a delayed start to enjoy the better weather expected from mid-morning onwards".

Thanks Jonathan, fingers crossed that you get good weather tomorrow!