Flora and Fauna - Boghead

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Flora and Fauna

As part of the exercise to tidy up the right of way path from the village a survey was undertaken of the flora and fauna at Boghead Moss.

Species Survey - October 2011 to June 2012

Boghead Moss lies directly south of the hamlet of Boghead in South Lanarkshire with its centre located at grid reference NS778417. The Moss has a mean altitude of 225m above mean sea-level and covers an area of around 80,000 sq. meters.

This habitat/species survey is derived from several visits to the site between October 2011 and June 2012.  From the outset, it was clear that Boghead Moss possessed a healthy biodiversity, most likely as a result of the site being mostly undisturbed and since the majority of it consists of birch woodland that not only stands in isolation from the surrounding open farmland and nearby quarrying site, but is a fairly unique habitat in local terms.

The history of the site is uncertain, however, the vast majority of the predominant tree species found throughout the site i.e. Silver Birch (Betula pendula) and Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) are approximately 50 – 75 years of age.  The pioneering nature of both of these species indicates that the site has established itself naturally with no, or very little interference from man, certainly over the past 75 years or more.

The habitats within Boghead Moss comprise of dense mature Birch woodland and open grassland and heath-like areas.  Some of the lower lying areas of the site are very wet and the ground flora species growing in these areas reflect this. Many areas within the site have ground cover consisting of Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), Heather (Calluna vulgaris) and various moss species which is very typical of woodlands that exist further north in Scotland and indeed is an excellent local example of this type of habitat.

Since Boghead Moss is mostly undisturbed and appears to receive no footfall, the site has very healthy populations of the birds species associated with this type of woodland.  During the winter months, the trees provide safe refuge for large flocks of finches and tits and roosting sites for many other bird species including the local resident Buzzards (Buteo buteo) and winter migrant Thrush species.  During the spring and summer months, the woodland attracts healthy numbers of summer migrant species which are associated with the types of habitat present in Boghead Moss.  Most notably, Garden Warblers (Sylvia borin), Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) and Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochillus) are probably nearing their maximum density supportable by the size of the site.

The mammal species recorded as part of this survey unfortunately only amount to Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Roe Deer (Careolus capreolus).  However, further study of the site would unquestionably add many more species to the list including various mouse and vole species and most likely stoat and weasel.

Overall, there is certainly plenty of scope for further and more detailed species surveys to be carried out at Boghead Moss.  For example, the period of this survey has not covered the late summer / early autumnal months which are best for recording species of fungi and there is no doubt that this site will be home to many types of mushrooms.  Any additional research at the site would only go to reinforce the importance of this locally important woodland.

The following list details the species recorded to date:

Bog Moss  Sphagnum recurvum
Common Hair Cap  Polytrichum commune
Common Feather Moss  Eurhynichium praelongum
Rough-stalked Feather Moss  Brachythecium rutabulum

Oak Moss  Evernia prunastri
Tube Lichen  Hypogymnia physodes

Grasses / Ferns
Cock’s Foot  Dactylis glomerata
Timothy  Phleum pratense
Yorkshire Fog  Holcus lanatus
Red Fescue  Festuca rubra
Common Couch  Elytrigia repens
Soft Rush  Juncus effuses
Compact Rush  Juncus conglomeratus
Common Nettle  Urtica dioica
Bracken  Pteridium aquilinum
Common Polypody  Polypodium vulgare
Field Horsetail  Equisetum arvense

Raspberry  Rubus idaeus
Bilberry  Vaccinium myrtillus
Broom  Cytisus scoparius
Heather  Calluna vulgaris
Meadow Buttercup  Ranunculus aeris
Creeping Buttercup  Ranunculuc repens
Field Forget-me-not  Myostosis arvensis
Tormentil  Potentilla erecta
Bluebell  Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Common Ragwort  Senecio jacobaea
Marsh Thistle  Cirsium palustre
Honeysuckle  Lonicera periclymenum
Common Sorrell  Rumex acetosa
Cleavers  Galium aparine
Rosebay Willowherb  Chamerion angustifolium
Common Spotted Orchid  Dactylorhiza fuschii

Silver Birch  Betula pendula
Rowan  Sorbus aucuparia
Hawthorn  Crataegus monogyna
Goat Willow  Salix caprea
Beech  Fagus sylvatica
Alder  Alnus glutinosa

Buzzard  Buteo buteo
Sparrowhawk  Accipiter nisus
Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus
Woodpigeon  Columba palumbus
Swift  Apus apus
Great Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopus major
Skylark  Alauda arvensis
Swallow  Hirundo rustica
Meadow Pipit  Anthus pratensis
Wren  Troglodytes troglodytes
Dunnock  Prunella modularis
Robin  Erithacus rubecula
Blackbird  Turdus merula
Fieldfare  Turdus pilaris
Redwing  Turdus iliacus
Song Thrush  Turdus philomelus
Blackcap  Sylvia atricapilla
Garden Warbler  Sylvia borin
Chiffchaff  Phylloscopus collybita
Willow Warbler  Phylloscopus trochilus
Long-tailed Tit  Aegithalos candatus
Coal Tit  Periparus ater
Blue Tit  Cyanistes caeruleus
Great Tit  Parus major
Treecreeper  Certhia familiaris
Magpie  Pica pica
Jackdaw  Corvus monedula
Rook  Corvus frugilegus
Carrion Crow  Corvus corone
Starling  Sturnus vulgaris
Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs
Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis
Greenfinch  Carduelis chloris
Bullfinch  Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Rabbit  Oryctolagus cuniculus
Roe Deer  Careolus capreolus
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