We were pleased to welcome Drs Alan and llma Stone from Melbourne and Dr Eva Lauritzen from Norway.
26 August The first week was spent almost exclusively in v.-c. 101. apart from one day on Beinn Buidhe (v.-c. 98), and as Lochgilphead was our headquarters the more southerly portions of the vice-county were left nearly untouched. We started on 26 August by visiting a nameless loch near Loch Choille-Bharr in Knapdale, where we hoped to turn up Cryptothallus mirabilis* and sure enough, Jim Dickson ‘did his thing’—this was a welcome addition to the vice-county list. Rhodobryum roseum was the only other plant of note seen here. We then proceeded to the Stronefield area where there is some variety of habitat. We noted Acrocladium stramineum in peat-bog, and in a shady watercourse nearby we found Fissidens celticus growing as it often does with Calypogeia arguta. On the extensive rock exposures there was quite an interesting assemblage, with Grimmia decipiens var. decipiens and var. robusta, G. stirtonii*, G. stricta, G. subsquarrosa, Hedwigia integrifolia, Pterogonium gracile, and Frullania fragilifolia. The G. decipiens var. robusta was interesting as it showed variation in general appearance and areolation. We ended on some rather better rock which produced Funaria attenuata, Adelanthus decipiens, Colura calyptrifolia, and Drepanolejeunea hamatifolia.
[* New vice-county record]
27 August Reinforcements arrived for our second day which started on Danna. We did not spend long on this delightful island, but plants of note included Acrocladium giganteum, Amblystegium serpens var. salinum, Gymnostomum calcareum, Pottia heimii. Sphagnum subsecundum var. subsecundum*, Tortella nitida, Marchesinia mackaii, and Scapania aspera. On Ulva. just the wrong side of the causeway from the point of view of the Danna flora, Bryum marratii* was found. Then we went to the limestones of Barrahormid where we saw several interesting plants, including Aloina aloides, Tortella nitida, Tortula intermedia, and Targionia hypophylla. We ended the day on the coast south of Crinan, but time did not allow a proper look at this area. Frullania fragilifolia, Lepidozia pinnata, and Marchesinia mackaii were noted. A brief stop at Turbiskill near Tayvallich produced Bryum microerythrocarpum, B. ruderale, and an interesting Orthotrichum whose identity is still uncertain.
28 August Next day we tackled Beinn Buidhe. This is quite a rich hill of just over 3000 ft. We drove up Glen Shira and then followed Brannie Burn, leaving our cars at the end of the road, A number of montane species were found including Acrocladium sarmentosum, A. trifarium, Barbula ferruginascens, Campylopus schwarzii, Conostomum tetragonum, Dicranum falcatum, D. starkei, Grimmia funalis, G. stricta, G. torquata. Oedipodium griffithianum. Oncophorus virens, Orthothecium rufescens, Plagiopus oederi, Pohlia elongata, Anthelia juratzkana, Herberta straminea, Hygrobiella laxifolia, Moerckia blyttii, Plectocolea obovata and, most unexpectedly, Riccia beyrichiana on an earthy bank at 2650 ft alt. Other finds included Distichium capillaceum, Plagiothecium platyphyllum, P. succulentum, Pohlia cruda, P. rothii, Rhabdoweisia fugax, and Gymnomitrion concinnatum, while the vascular flora was quite rich, with Polystichum lonchitis, Poa alpina, and Saxifraga nivalis.
29 August After this rather strenuous day we had a comparatively easy one for our next. We searched an attractive limestone ravine near Torinturk, West Loch Tarbert, and this was quite good. Aphanolejeunea microscopica, Cololejeunea calcarea, Drepanolejeunea hamatifolia, and Harpalejeunea ovata were found, along with Cephalozia leucantha, Hygrobiella laxifolia, Leiocolea muelleri, L. turbinata, Plectocolea obovata, Hypnum cupressiforme var. mamillatum, Sphagnum quinquefarium, and Zygodon conoideus, and on moorland nearby Haplomitrium hookeri* was found. Leaving this excellent place we went next to the Kilberry caves, which were of moderate interest: Fissidens curnowii, Plagiothecium succulentum, Rhynchostegiella tenella, and Marchesinia mackaii were seen, but paddling was, at least for some, an irresistible temptation. Bryum klinggraeffii*, B. sauteri, B. tenuisetum* and Ephemerum serratum var. serratum were collected from oatfields north of Kilberry, and B. riparium from a stubble field at Clachbreck. We ended the day by looking over a small area of limestone near Loch AraiL This produced little apart from Funaria obtusa, Gymnostomum calcareum, and Plagiobryum zierii.
30 August Next day I unfortunately had to desert my post, but the party crossed to Gigha and had some good results, though I suspect the island has limited potential. Noteworthy plants recorded included Bryum sauteri from near Ardminish; Eurhynchium speciosum and Cephaloziella starkei from Port an Duin; and from the Mill Loch and surrounding moorland Anomobryum concinnatum, Bryum microerythrocarpum, Cinclidotus fontinaloides, Grimmia subsquarrosa, Orthotrichum rupestre, Fossombronia wondraczekii, Porella thuja, and Scapania irrigua were found. The gravel workings at Rhunahaorine were visited and Haplomitrium hookeri and Fossombronia incurva were found. A barley field at Ballinnenach, near Campbeltown, produced Dicranella staphylina and Ephemerum serratum var. minutissimum* and an oatfield at Eascairt Bryum riparium and B. tenuisetum.
31 August We spent 31 August in the Ellary area and this was rewarding. At St Columba’s Cave we saw Fissidens curnowii, and in the woodland south of Ellary House Leucobryum juniperoideum* was discovered. Other finds here included Tortella nitida, Adelanthus decipiens, Jubula hutchinsiae, and Marchesinia mackaii. On the hill ground to the west of this woodland the only noteworthy plant was Grimmia decipiens var. robusta in very small quantity. On a rough track by Loch Meadhonach we noted Bryum tenuisetum, Pohlia bulbifera, Fossombronia incurva, F. wondraczekii, and Marsupella funckii. An oatfield at Redhouse contained B. riparium in abundance and also B. tenuisetum, and another at Stronachullin B. riparium again and Ditrichum pusillum.
1 September On 1 September one party went to Sliabh Gaoil (1840 ft), the highest point in Knapdale. On the way there. Sphagnum molle* was found on the Moine an t-Saraiche, S. strictum* on Cnoc na Seamraig, S. teres* and S. warnstorfianum* near Loch Fuar-Bheinne, and S. robustum* to the east of the Loch. Other Sphagna seen in the same general area included S. contortum, S. girgensohnii and S. subsecundum var. subsecundum. Sliabh Gaoil is of no great height but some unusual plants occur on it, and we noted Encalypta ciliata, Grimmia atrata, Myurella julacea, Plagiothecium denticulatum var. obtusifolium, Rhacomitrium ellipticum, Cololejeunea calcarea, Gymnomitrion concinnatum, and Scapania subalpina. It was a long walk but I think we all enjoyed it.
Another party visited the Skipness area, and also the ravine at Meall Mhor. In the latter the most noteworthy find was Drepanolejeunea hamatifolia, but the ravine may have more to offer higher up. North of Skipness Dicranum scottianum and Weissia perssonii are worth mentioning, as are Bryum riparium (in another field of oats) and Hypnum cupressiforme var. mamillatum, which were found about Claonaig. The last-named plant has evidently been greatly under-recorded and was found in various places. At Kilmartin (v.-c. 98) Ditrichum pusillum* was found in an arable field, and B. riparium yet again.
Altogether, sixteen new vice-county records were made during the week. It would be wrong to omit a mention of the weather which really surpassed itself. I was told that this was the leader’s responsibility, but modesty prevents my claiming any personal credit for this unusual state of affairs. Anyway it was most welcome.
A. G. Kenneth