Sunday, 15 July 2018

The best kind of green

July means plant survey time in Aberlady Bay for me!  A weekly opportunity to spend the morning messing around amongst a significant percentage of the 600 odd species of wild flowers, grasses, mosses, reeds and sedges in this lovely nature reserve (the first in Britain when designated in 1952).  Some of the information we have to record is a bit too scientific for me, I just go along to help identify plants, and hazard a guess at the technical stuff!  It's a joy and a privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to this on-going grassland survey which is being carried out by East Lothian Council.  

Some of the lovely things we saw on Saturday, a cinnabar moth on tufted vedge,
meadow vetchling amongst the red and white clovers
viper's bugloss, which is a magnet for bees and butterflies
Grass of Parnassus
and the tiny white stars of marsh bedstraw.
I was really pleased when the dark green fritillary butterfly stopped long enough, on a red clover, for me to take a few photographs.
 Nestling in amongst the pennywort, the bright little yellow flowers of silverweed
 and in this photo you can just about see the 2 metre square we were minutely studying.
Up behind us, on the hill, there was the parallel universe of the Scottish Open golf tournament taking place on Gullane golf course.  It was of absolutely no interest to me, but they did at least have a good day for it!  We've had lots of good days over the last month.  A real summer - hooray!
This is the kind of green I would rather be staring at, as opposed to a golf green.
We spend quite a bit of time poring over plant books, trying to identify different things, in this case, sea arrowgrass.
A beautiful place to be, with just the sound of the sea birds in Aberlady Bay, and as time goes by, the waves on the shore beyond the dunes.  A morning well spent.


  1. Such a small area to be studying when you see it marked out. Beautiful photos and I can smell the sea air, hear the bird sounds with the occasional mutterings from the disenchanted golfers (hee hee) xx Happy Days Mrs RW xx

  2. It's one of eighteen sites across Aberlady Bay. Once we have examined as much as we can in the 2m square we then mark out a bigger area in the same vicinity and do a general sweep to catch any other species that are not in our smaller site. Good fun and a glorious way to spend a morning!

  3. It looks fantastic...good for you xx