Lothians Group: Bonaly Reservoir

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11 May 2024 (10:30 - 15:30)

Meeting report

Leader: David Adamson
Dean Burn
VC83 Midlothian

Five set off from the top car park at Bonaly, a record for our visits to this site, and followed the crowds of hikers, Scouts and sunseekers up the steep path that leads to Bonaly Reservoir. We left this busy path by the stile into the narrow gorge of the Dean Burn. Our progress was slow, a reflection of the bryological interest on the rocks in and around the narrow burn. Although the Dean Burn has been visited often, there were still unexpected finds such as Andreaea rupestris. Particularly abundant were Plagiomnium elatum and Rhynchostegium riparioides. On shaded rocks were patches of Amphidium mougeotii. It was difficult to identify some of the drier mosses on boulders until they had been sprayed with water.

After circumventing a waterfall we stopped for lunch by some rocks where there were good populations of Bartramia pomiformis, Lophozia ventricosa and Orthocaulis floerkei. In a small, base-rich flush we found Scorpidium cossonii and Sarmentypnum exannulatum, and a steep-sided ditch had been populated by Pleuridium subulatum and Ditrichum heteromallum.  Near the head of the Dean Burn some Alder trees added a few epiphytic species to our list.

By 14:30 we were all a bit mossed-out and lacked the enthusiasm to bryologise among the crowds at Bonaly Reservoir. Therefore we took the easy downhill path back to the car park, adding yet more species to a fairly impressive list for NT2166. Away from mosses we heard the Cuckoo and saw a Common Lizard, many Green Hairstreak butterflies, a yellow-faced Blowfly Cynomya mortuorum, and solitary bees in the genera Halictus and Nomada.

David Adamson, May 2024

Meeting details

The next meeting of the Group is on Saturday 11 May 2024, meeting at Bonaly upper car park at 10:30.

Habitats include reservoir margins, boggy moorland, and possibly a ravine. The main aim is to learn to recognise the mosses and liverworts of these habitats. The main risks are likely to be from dogs, mountain bikes, and uneven, steep and slippery ground. Please note that the track climbs steadily and steeply from the upper car park to the moorland below the reservoir.

Good footwear and suitable clothing are essential.  Please also bring a packed lunch and a hand lens.

Meeting details: Meet at Bonaly upper car park at 10:30. NT21143 67484. EH13 0PB What3words:  legs.yarn.rock

For those travelling by bus the meeting place is a ten-minute walk from the terminus of Lothian bus number 10. The lower Bonaly car park is larger than the upper car park and less likely to be full.

Please email David Adamson at davidadamson32@gmail.com no later than 9 May 2024 if you wish to attend.


Bonaly Reservoir