2023 County Report for Dunbartonshire

Michael Philip

Our current Dunbartonshire project continues its strong momentum, with over 14,000 records uploaded this year. This means we have now gathered over 50,000 records since the start of 2021, visiting 511 monads at an average of 97 species per monad.

We held 19 field outings in 2023 but have also seen a steady increase in the amount of records being contributed by individuals and small, more spontaneous, get-togethers.

Highlights of the year included an intensive day’s recording on the Loch Lomond island of Inchmoan (see photo); a visit from Brian Burrow (referee for Hieracium) including two indoor workshops and a field day in the Kilpatrick Hills; and a final burst of urban recording for the Botanical Society of Scotland’s ‘Urban Flora Project’.

An exciting new sub-project is a partnership with RSPB to record the flora of their Loch Lomond Reserve. Working with RSPB staff and volunteers, we have covered around half the Reserve area in 2023.

A first vice-county record was achieved by carefully photographing some coastal Atriplex. We’re grateful to John Akeroyd (referee) for determining the hybrid Atriplex glabriuscula × longipes = A. × taschereaui (Stace), on three of our Clyde estuary beaches. This taxon has been recorded elsewhere on the Clyde, but not before in Dunbartonshire.

And the ever-vigilant Alison Rutherford noticed an unusual shrub erupting out of a footpath in Helensburgh. She collected a specimen and had it identified by the RHS: Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’ is a first record for the British Isles.

Botany trip to Inchmoan, Loch Lomond