Loch Maree

West Ross & Cromarty 5th – 7th August 2022
recording general
led by
Duncan Donald

A rare opportunity: the Reserve Manager has kindly offered boat transport on the Friday to allow five passengers (i.e. four plus organiser Duncan Donald) to record on the Loch Maree Islands National Nature Reserve [choosing early August to minimise disturbance to breeding black-throated divers]. From past records, targets include Aristavena setacea (Bog Hair-grass), Elatine hexandra (Six-stamened Waterwort), Goodyera repens (Creeping Lady's-tresses), Isoetes echinospora (Spring Quillwort), Lycopodiella inundata (Marsh Clubmoss) [a large colony], Sorbus rupicola (Rock Whitebeam), but above all Linnaea borealis (Twinflower), only reported from there once c.1873! Given that so few can take part in this, the organiser is planning that the meeting should run on for a further two days, to enable them and/or others joining just for the weekend, to do some more mainland-based recording; a get-together for all is proposed on the Friday evening. Targets around Loch Maree itself include Ajuga pyramidalis (Pyramidal Bugle) and the newly-described Scaly Male-fern variant Dryopteris affinis subsp. pseudodisjuncta at its first British site; Rhynchospora fusca (Brown Beak-sedge) will be seen. Otherwise, depending on what the June Meeting [q.v.] has already achieved, targets might include the Cambrian limestone outcrop beside Lochan Fada, with Dryas octopetala (Mountain Avens) and Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine); the little-recorded fringe of Beinn Eighe NNR at Fuaran Mor [NG9765]; or the mix of habitats at An Cearcaill [NG9368]. Alternatively, for anyone interested in camping overnight, the Letterewe Forest (including Beinn Lair & Sgurr Dubh) deserves attention: Asplenium septentrionale (Forked Spleenwort), Juncus biglumis (Two-flowered Rush) and Poa glauca (Glaucous Meadow-grass) records need updating.

Early booking of accommodation, potentially from Thursday to Sunday, is advisable.