2022 County Report for Clyde Islands

Angus Hannah, Sarah Cowan

This year Sarah Cowan agreed to become a joint recorder in Clyde Isles, a welcome move that should make things easier for both of us.  Recording has gone well this year, with over ten thousand monad species records being made, not quite all yet in DDb.  Sarah continued her monad recording in Arran, making over 6k records, and I undertook a project to refind as many as possible of the species seen on Bute over the last 20 years (see article elsewhere for details of this), visiting 140 monads, noting some gains and losses, seeing almost 800 species, making over 4k monad records and significantly updating the Bute RPR.

Otherwise my main focus was on brambles. In July I led a one-day introductory session as well as my usual long-weekend field and study meeting, both in Lochwinnoch (vc76), with 8 people attending one or both.

On Bute I also investigated some very robust sedges which resembled rostrata except for being well outside the usual dimensions (see my exhibit abstract). Mike Porter, to whom I sent several specimens, suggested they might be hybrids with riparia, but this could only be confirmed with fruits (empty utricles) and none of the plants flowered this year. We are both growing on specimens in hope of persuading them to oblige.  If they prove not to be hybrids, the textbook descriptions of rostrata may need some revision! They grow at several sites, and are unlikely to be restricted to Bute.

Crithmum maritimum (rock samphire)

Found by Sarah near Blackwaterfoot on Arran. There are no previous vc100 records in DDb for this species, which may be extending northwards.

Euphorbia paralias (sea spurge)

Growing nearby (see photo above), a first for Arran and only once seen on Bute 10 years ago.

Brassica nigra (black mustard)

Brassica nigra (black mustard), which turned up on Kilchattan beach was the first for Bute since James Robertson’s 1768 record.