Buxton heath wildlife group

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The latest news from the heath! Issue 5 Dated 10.6.98

No 503 Sat. 16.5.98 Hot & sunny all day. STUDY DAY
Len Wise, Colin Thompson, Kevin Lewis, Christine Croton, Amber Rosenthal, Graham French, Phil Davison, Jane Edgar, Hamish Dublon, Claire Paybody, Tracey Hobbs, Andy Dolman, Christian Rottger, Quentin Mair + me = 15

Butterflies: Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi (D43, E28), Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines (var. loc.), Peacock Inachis io (mire), Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria (D15, D77), Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni (male, B11 +), Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas (D43), Green-veined White Artogeia napi (D87).
Birds: Whitethroat Sylvia communis (D56), Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita (var. loc.), Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus (var. loc.), Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur (heard), Heron Ardea cinerea (overflight !), Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella D43 +), Long-tailed Tits Aegithelos caudatus (D17), Wren Troglodytes troglodytes (Alder Wood - possibly with nest), Green Woodpecker Picus viridis (Great Wood), Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major (B88), Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus (B75), Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus (B75), Woodlark Lullula arborea (2 or 3 birds near Loop Path - nesting ??).
Herptiles: Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara (various parts of site), Common Frog Rana temporaria (various parts of mire).
Bugs: “Cuckoo Spit” (Leafhopper sp.) mire, Horned Treehopper Centrotus cornutus (D98 - on Oak sapling), Water Boatman or Common Backswimmer Notonecta glauca (B11), Pond Skater Gerris lacustris (B11 - pools), Water Cricket Velia caprai (Stream).
Insects: Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula (mire & B11 pools), Cranefly ??? (line of dark triangles on abdomen, patterned wings - mire), Alder Fly Sialis sp. ((D77 - mire), Sawfly Tenthredo sp. (D77), Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly Libellula depressa (female - B11 pools), Hover-fly Syrphus ribesii (D15).

Beetles: Rove Beetle ???? (brown abdomen with 6 gold spots - D37), Green Tortoise Beetle Cassida viridis (D98), 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata (D98), Whirligig Beetle Gyrinus natator (B11 pools), Click Beetle Prosternon tessellatum (B11), Green Tiger Beetle Cicindela campestris (Northern & Southern Tracks), Burying Beetle Oiceoptoma thoracicum (orange “shoulders” - D15 - Western Track).
Orthoptera: Grasshopper nymphs, possibly Meadow Grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus (5mm long - B38 - quite straight lines ), Slender Groundhopper Tetrix subulata (D77 - in our cleared area).
Moths: Drinker Philudoria potatoria (caterpillars E38, D98), Common Heath Ematurga atomaria (D43, B11), Silver-Y Autographa gamma (B11), Cinnabar Tyria jacobaeae (mire), Common Carpet Epirrhoe alternata (E28), 5-spot Burnet Zygaena trifolii (caterpillars on stems - E38).
Crustaceans: Freshwater Shrimp Gammarus pulex (stream D77).
Galls: Oak Cherry Gall Cynips quercusfolii (D15).

Fungi: Hypoxolon mammatum (on willow - Stream Arch).
In flower: Common Milkwort Polygala vulgaris (throughout southern part of site), Tormentil Potentilla erecta (var. loc.), Marsh Valerian Valeriana dioica , Lady’s smock Cardamine pratensis, Early or Southern Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza incarnata or D. praetermissa, Common Gorse Ulex europaeus, Petty Whin Genista anglica, Ragged Robin Lychnis flos-cuculi, Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris, Creeping Buttercup Ranunculus repens (D87), Common cotton-grass Eriophorum angustifolium

(B11 pools and Stream Arch area), Bogbean Menyanthes trifoliata (var. loc. include. Stream Arch), Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris (E28), Marsh Lousewort Pedicularis palustris (E37), Lousewort Pedicularis sylvatica (Western Track & Frog Hollow), Narrow-leaved Marsh Orchid ? Dactylorhiza traunsteineri ? (E37 - photo taken), Heath Milkwort ? Polygala serpyllifolia ? (B35), Lesser Spearwort Ranunculus flammula (small pond east of electricity line).

** Continuation of 503 - Saturday 16.5.98 !!
Not in flower: Marsh Cinquefoil Potentilla palustris, Fool’s Watercress Apium nodiflorum (stream), Common Reed Phragmites australis (colts 2ft tall), Marsh Pennywort Hydrocotyle vulgaris, Marsh Helleborine Epipactis palustris (leaves), Round-leaved Sundew Drosera rotundiflora (B11 pools), Male Fern Dryopteris filix-mas (E38), Narrow Buckler Fern Dryopteris carthusiana (E38), Wood Sage Teucrium scorodonia (B38).
No 504 Wednesday 20.5.98 Visit to the BUITENGOOR, BELGIUM.
Dr Dirk Boeye & Veronique Van Haesebroek (University of Antwerp), Colin & Denise Penny.
After enjoying a lovely meal at a small Antwerp restaurant with Dirk, Veronique, Bart Verhagen, and Geertje Wijtens the night before, we were picked up by Dirk and Veronique at about 0930 on Wed. 20th. Sadly, Bart and Geertje had other commitments which prevented them from joining us on our field trip.
“Het Buitengoor” lies to the east of Antwerp, on the Campine plateau, an area known for its poor soils and acid substratum. Many headwater valley fens were once scattered through the region, but only a few remain. They receive acid ground water from shallow aquifers. Therefore headwater valley fens in the region are typically poor fens. The Buitengoor forms a notable exception. Although it is situated on a very pure quartz aquifer, it supports rich-fen vegetation with many calcicoles.
It is believed that a small irrigation channel, situated just upstream of the fen, is responsible for bringing the calcareous water of the River Maas close to the fen. For those interested in reading about the site in more (scientific) depth, I do have a paper published by Dirk & Co in 1996 - please let me know if you would like a copy.
In the meantime, I will attempt to share some of our impressions of the site with you, and list the species we noted on the day.

In some ways, the Buitengoor is similar to Buxton Heath, in others, it is quite different. Perhaps the three most notable differences are that a) most exposed soil/mud tends to be bright orange owing to the high iron content (at which point Veronique tends to sniff the mud on her fingers!), b) turf-stripped areas take a very long time for any plants to re-colonise (months !), and c) as soon as you walk onto the site, the Bog Myrtle Myrica gale seems to be everywhere, giving the impression of being invasive and “out of control”.

However, the Bog Myrtle is not choking the site since it tends to grow to only about 2 feet tall. If nitrogen is released by the addition of phosphate, the balance would be disturbed and the shrub would then become invasive. So, my first reaction to go in with the brushcutter was unfounded !
I was surprised that no reptiles are found on the site - it seemed ideal for them. In my latest communication to Dirk, I have asked for any species lists that exist. In the interim, here is our list of observations :
Plants: Great Fen Sedge Cladium mariscus, Moss Drepanocladus lycopodioides (only known in Belgium at this site), Few-flowered Spike-rush Eleocharis quinqueflora , Common Yellow Sedge Carex demissa, Bottle Sedge Carex rostrata, Dioecious Sedge Carex dioica, Round-leaved Sundew Drosera rotundiflora, Oblong-leaved Sundew D. intermedia, Broad-leaved Cotton-grass Eriophorum latifolium, Narrow-leaved Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza traunsteineri, Slender Sedge Carex lasiocarpa, Star Sedge Carex echinata, Slender Cotton-grass Eriophorum gracile, Bog pondweed Potamogeton polygonifolius, Pillwort Pilularia globulifera, Lady’s smock Cardamine pratensis, Yellow Flag Iris Iris pseudacorus, Tufted Hair-grass Deschampsia cespitosa, Alder Alnus glutinosa, Lesser Bladderwort Utricularia minor, Canadian Rush Juncus canadensis, Wood Club-rush Scirpus sylvaticus, Brown Beak-sedge Rhynchospora fusca, Common Club-rush (Bulrush) Scirpus lacustris, Gipsywort Lycopus europaeus, Cross-leaved Heath Erica tetralix, Purple Moor-grass Molinia caerulea, Ling Calluna vulgaris, Bog Asphodel Narthecium ossifragum.

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