Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Isle of Skye Quarry

Isle of Skye Quarry - Sunday 22 July 2018

Leaders : Peter Burton & Louise Hill
Attendees:
Louise Hill
Peter Burton
John Scott
Les Coe

Guests:
Tim Kohler - Natural England
Jim Burnett - Doncaster Nats

Apologise : Kate McDowell

This was to be a follow-up survey of the Quarry to the one conducted in the spring of this year.
The party assembled at the car park at Digley Reservoir for 10.30am

Isle of Skye Quarry
At the entrance to the quarry the alarm calls of the Curlew that had greeted our arrival in spring was absent this time. Before climbing the small wall marking the entrance, we found the tiny white flowered Blinks (Montia fontana) hiding amongst the vegetation.

The path leading into the quarry had a trickle of running water and alongside the path were Oval Sedge (Carex leporina), Timothy (Phleum pratense), and Bog Stitchwort (Stellaria alsine).

Within the quarry we found Bell Heather (Erica cinerea), Great Willowherb (Epilobium parviflorum) and New Zealand Willowherb (E. brunnescens), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) and Zigzag Clover (T. medium), Common Bent (Agrostis stolonifera) and Red Fescue (Festuca rubra), Lesser Trefoil (Trifolium dubium) and Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus coniculatus), Catsear (Hypochaeris radicata), Mouse-ear Hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca) and Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum).

Surveying
On the ground above a lake we noted Scaly Male Fern (Dryopteris affinis agg), Common Sedge,(Carex nigra) and Pill Sedge (C. pilulifera), an occasional late flowering Common Centaury (Centaurium littorale), Tormentil (Potentilla erecta), Common Figwort (Scrophularia nodosa), Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor), Black Medic (Medicago lupulina) and Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris).

Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)
At the spring survey we had avoided intruding upon nesting birds around the small lakes, this time we found in the first lake Broad-leaved Pondweed (Potamogeton natans) and Bog Pondweed (P. polygonifolius) whilst Bottle Sedge (Carex rostrata) grew in the margins.

Bottle Sedge (Carex rostrata)
Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense), Heath Woodrush (Luzula multiflora), Lesser Spearwort (Ranunculus flammula), Celery-leaved Buttercup (R. sceleratus), Thyme-leaved Speedwell (Veronica serpyllifolia), Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla sp.), Yellow Sedge (Carex viridula), Toad Rush (Juncus bufonius agg), Bulbous Rush (J. bulbosus), Jointed Rush (J. articulatus) and Marsh Foxtail (Alopecurus geniculatus) were found between the two lakes.

Marsh Foxtail (Alopecurus geniculatus)
A second small lake was dominated by Bulrush (Typha latifolia). Around here we found Water

Bulrush (Typha latifolia)
Horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile) and Marsh Horsetail (E. palustre), Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum), Scentless Mayweed(Tripeurospermum inodorum) , Hoary Willowherb (Epilobium parviflorum), Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica), Bush Vetch (Vicia sepium) and Common Vetch (V. sativa), Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea), Tufted Hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) and growing in a rock crevice was Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes).

Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes)
We then returned to the Digley car park were it was decided in the time remaining to survey around the reservoir.

Following the public footpath with agricultural land to the left and wooded slopes above the reservoir to the right and with dry stone walls providing a boundary, we noted Common Cow-wheat (Melampyrum pratense). A diversion away from the footpath, we climbed through a small ravine made by a feeder stream. In here was found Marsh Willowherb (Epilobium palustre), Lady Fern (Athyrium filixz-femina), Hard Fern (Blechnum spicant) and Wavy Bittercress (Cardamine flexosa). Reaching the top of this ravine we then descended through a sheep field noting Silver Hair-grass (Aira caryophyllera) and Early Hair-grass (A. praecox), Prickly Sow-thistle (Lactuca serriola), Crested Dogstail (Cynosurus cristatus).

Following a small stream
Returning to the well trodden footpath which led to the dam wall of the upper Bilberry Reservoir, being a mid-point between the two reservoirs which providing an access to the opposite side of the lower but much larger Digley Reservoir.

Digley Reservoir
On this wooded side of the reservoir where several small feeder streams entered the reservoir we found Common Hemp-nettle (Galeopsis tetrahit), Greater Plantain (Plantago major), Marsh Yellow-cress (Rorippa palustris), a Water Starwort (Callitriche sp.), Water-pepper (Persicaria hydropiper), Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans), Marsh Cudweed (Gnaphalium uliginosum), Wood Sage (Teucrium scorodonia) and Marsh Bedstraw (Galium palustre).

Marsh Bedstraw (Galium palustre)

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