2021 County Report for South Aberdeenshire

Ian Francis

Botanical activity during 2021 in South Aberdeenshire stepped up from a lull in 2020, with over 2,250 records from 27 botanists already in, or on their way, to the DDb, including some very interesting finds. A recording weekend by Lewis Donachy, David Elston, Shaila Rao and Dan Watson in the high-altitude corries of the Braeriach area on Mar Lodge Estate in the Cairngorms was very productive, with many rare alpine species recorded. These included Taraxacum craspedotum (Pale-leaved Dandelion), Hieracium alpinum (Alpine Hawkweed) and H. hanburyi f. hanburyi (a Hawkweed) – all confirmed by referees and each with very few or no Scottish records since 2000. Also in Upper Deeside, there were three records of Diphasiastrum complanatum × alpinum = D. issleri (Issler’s Clubmoss), surely an overlooked taxon. The photograph of one specimen from Ben Avon, found by Andy Stronach and confirmed by Fred Rumsey, shows the colour and shape of branches and diagnostic under leaves.

Away from the Cairngorms, there were three records by Ian Green of plants not recorded since before the recent Atlas 2000 date class period and many other useful records from the North-East Scotland Biological Records Centre (NESBReC) habitat survey project, plus a substantial recording input from Anne Burgess. I am very grateful to Andy Amphlett and David Elston for their support and to all who submitted records in 2021.