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Natural History Project

Report on Year 1, January through December 2018, square 50 x 50 metres, centred on NR 41002 96460

For this project, we would wish to record any living thing actually found within the square, also birds or mammals seen ("S") or heard ("H") whilst the observer was within the square, or any identifiable dung ("D") found therein.

Species: to be noted twice and independently confirmed in due course.
Conf: Definite confirmation. Date format = Month/Day ALL DATES ARE 2018
Date1 = First record, by #1; Date2 = Independent second record, by #2
? = Observer is uncertain; ?? = more detailed information would be good.
"A" = abundance by DAFOR scale; "B" = abundance by DOMIN scale (see note, immediately below)

Plants in study area, 2018
Species Common name Conf Date1 #1 Date2 #2 A B  
Sphagnum Sphagnum moss ?? 06/01 CB 06/08 MK A 9  
[Marchantiophyta] Liverwort ?? 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
?? Lichen (on oak) ?? 06/01 CB     A 3  
Hymenophyllum wilsonii Wilson's Filmy Fern DP 06/18 DP 06/19 KB R 1  
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken DP 06/01 KB 06/08 MK D 8  
Oreopteris limbosperma Lemon-scented Fern DP 06/08 KB 06/18 DP F 3  
Athyrium filix-femina Lady-fern KB 06/18 DP     O 3  
Struthiopteris spicant Hard Fern DP 06/01 CB 06/18 DP F 3  
Dryopteris affinis agg. Scaly Male-fern DP 06/18 DP 06/19 KB O 1  
Dryopteris borreri Borrer's Scaly-male Fern KB 06/18 DP     O 1  
Dryopteris aemula Hay-scented Buckler-fern DP 06/01 KB 06/18 DP F 3  
Dryopteris dilatata Broad Buckler-fern KB 06/18 DP     F 3  
Polypodium vulgare Common Polypody DP 06/01 KB 06/18 DP O 3  
Caltha paulstris Marsh Marigold   06/01 CB 06/08 MK R 1  
Ranunculus acris Meadow Buttercup   06/18 DP     R 1  
Ranunculus repens Creeping Buttercup DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Ranunculus flammula Lesser Spearwort DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Ficaria verna Lesser Celandine DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK F 4  
Polygala serpyllifolia Heath Milkwort DP 06/08 MK 06/18 DP R 1  
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan (Mountain Ash) DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK F 3  
Filipendula ulmaria Meadowsweet DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Rubus fruticosus agg. Bramble (Blackberry) DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 2  
Potentilla erecta Tormentil DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK A 8  
Quercus petraea Sessile Oak   06/18       F 7  
Betula pubescens Downy Birch DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK F 6  
Alnus glutinosa Alder   06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 2  
Corylus avellana Hazel DP 06/01 KB 06/18 DP R 1  
Oxalis acetosella Wood-sorrel DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK F 3  
Salix caprea Goat Willow ? 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Salix cinerea Grey Willow   06/18 DP     O ?  

Viola riviniana

Common Dog-violet DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Viola palustris Marsh Violet   06/18 DP     R 1  
Cardamine pratensis Cuckooflower (Lady's Smock) DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Stellaria alsine Bog Stitchwort   06/18 DP     R 2  
Primula vulgaris Primrose DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK F 3  
Lysimachia nemorum Yellow Pimpernel DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 2  
Rhododendron ponticum Rhododendron DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK F 3  
Calluna vulgaris Heather   06/18 DP     R 3  
Vaccinium myrtillus Bilberry DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK F 4  
Galium palustre Common Marsh-bedstraw DP 06/01 CB 06/18 DP R 2  
Galium saxatile Heath Bedstraw DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Myosotis secunda Creeping Forget-me-not DP 06/18 DP     R 1  
Veronica serpyllifolia Thyme-leaved Speedwell DP 06/01 CB     R 1  
Veronica chamaedrys Germander Speedwell DP 06/08 MK 06/18 DP R 1  
Teucrium scorodonia Wood Sage DP 06/08 MK 06/18 DP R 1  
Scutellaria minor Lesser Skullcap DP 06/18 DP     R 1  
Ajuga reptans Bugle DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Melampyrum pratense Common Cow-wheat DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK F 3  
Campanula rotundifolia Harebell (Scottish Bluebell)   07/27 KB     O 3  
Cirsium agg. Thistle DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Circium palustre Marsh Thistle DP 06/18 DP     O 3  
Solidago virgaurea Golden Rod DP 06/18 DP     R 1  
Lonicera periclymenum Honeysuckle DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK A 4  
Succisa pratensis Devil's-bit Scabious DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK F 3  
Hydrocotyle vulgaris Marsh Pennywort DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Conopodium majus Pignut DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 2  
Oenanthe crocata Hemlock Water-dropwort   06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 3  
Angelica sylvestris Wild Angelica DP 06/01 CB 06/08 MK R 2  
Dactylorhiza maculata Heath Spotted-orchid DP 06/18 DP 07/27 KB O 3  
Hyacinthoides non-scripta Bluebell (Scottish Wild Hyacinth) DP 06/18 DP 06/19 KB O 3  
Juncus agg. Rushes, various   06/01 CB 06/08 MK O 4  
Juncus articulatus Jointed Rush   06/18 DP     O 3  
Juncus effusus Soft-rush   06/18 DP     O 3  
Luzula pilosa Hairy Wood-rush DP 06/08 MK 06/18 DP O 3  
Luzula sylvatica Great Wood-rush DP 06/01 CB 06/18 DP O 3  
Luzula multiflora x ssp. congesta Heath Wood-rush   06/18 DP     R 1  
Carex echinata Star Sedge   06/18 DP          
Carex pilulifera Pill Sedge   06/18 DP          
Carex nigra Common Sedge   06/18 DP          
Poa trivialis Rough Meadow-grass   06/18 DP          
Deschampsia flexuosa Wavy Hair-grass   06/18 DP          
Holcus lanatus Yorkshire-fog   06/18 DP          
Holcus mollis Creeping Soft-grass   06/18 DP          
Agrostis vinealis Brown Bent   06/18 DP          
Molinia caerulea Purple Moor-grass   06/18 DP          

DAFOR and DOMIN Scales
Abundance DAFOR   Ground Cover DOMIN
Sominant D   91 - 100% 10
Abundant A   76 - 90% 9
Frequent F   51 - 75% 8
Occasional O   34 - 50% 7
Rare R   26 - 33% 6
      11 - 25% 5
      4 - 10% 4
      <4 (many individuals) 3
      <4 (several individuals) 2
      <4 (few individuals) 1

 

Insects 2018
Species Common Name Conf Date1 #1 Date2 #2
Bombus pascuorum Carder Bee   06/08 MK    
Euphydryas aurinia Marsh Fritillary Butterfly   06/08 MK    

 

Mammals 2018
Species Common Name Conf Date1 #1 Date2 #2
Phoca vitulina Common Seal (H)   06/18 KB    
Apodemus sylvaticus Woodland Mouse (W)   06/18 KB    
Ovis aries Sheep (D)   07/25 KB    

 

Reptiles 2018
Species Common Name Conf Date1 #1 Date2 #2
Zootoca vivipara Common Lizard   07/25 KB    
             

 

Birds 2018
Species Common Name Conf Date1 #1 Date2 #2
  None noted to date          
             

 

Diary of progress:

The very dense bracken cover was cut and removed from the site using a "Japanese sickle", which is a small hand-tool with serrated teeth, extremely sharp and efficient. No other plants or material were removed from the site, other than a total of 40 volunteer Rhododendron ponticum, which species is the current subject of an eradication scheme. This work was completed early in January. From early May until early August bracken regrowth was curtailed by use of the same hand implement; initially this required two sessions per week but latterly a weekly session met the case; each session taking between 90 minutes and two hours (excluding the walk-in and walk-out). There was a very deep litter of old bracken material across the open part of the site, which will probably take a couple of seasons to rot away. A graph was made, to plot the position of existing mature oak, birch and hazel trees. Numerous seedlings of these species were noted, also rowan; but there were no saplings to be seen, suggesting that something prevents the seedlings growing beyond their initial stage.

On 25 July, tree seedlings were counted within an open area representing about 25% of the study area: Oak 57; Rowan 30; Birch 126.

In August, 112 individual oak seedlings were marked with flags, so that progress can be monitored into the future. By July 25th, no signs of grazing or other damage had been noted (although there were three recent deposits of sheep droppings. The flags were inserted 15 cm to the west of each oak seedling. By 25th August most seedlings still seemed healthy, despite some slight damage by (sheep?) grazing. A further 8 rhododendron seedlings were discovered and removed.

In July 1988 John and Pamela Clarke created four quadrats in A' Choille Mhor, one of which happens to be in the southeast corner of the present study area; the quadrats were part of an intensive survey of the the ancient woodland and copies of the original reports have been made available. It is intended that all four of the original quadrats will now have additional marker pegs inserted beside the original ones (which are showing signs of decay) and those sites will be re-surveyed; copies of all the original reports will be lodged with Colonsay & Oronsay Heritage Trust, together with survey reports for the four quadrats updated to 2019 (so that the exercise can be repeated in 2050).

Contact details: Kevin & Christa Byrne, Homefield, Isle of Colonsay, Argyll PA61 7YR

Email: byrne@colonsay.eu Telephone: 01951 200320