TIDAL TRENT – DUNHAM TO COLLINGHAM + DCW
The objective of the day was to look at the plants on the shore line of the tidal reaches of the Trent but an untimely high spring tide had backed the river up and drowned out any hope of accessing the ‘beaches’. Despite the river flowing downhill by lunchtime, the levels remained too high even by the afternoon.
This was very disappointing for Dave who had hoped to check out the current status of Oak-leaved Goosefoot Chenopodium glaucum, a very rare plant away from some southern districts and one which he considers to be under-recorded.
I enjoyed the day however, visiting new sites on a day that was much warmer and sunnier than we were expecting and we started at Dunham. This is a very watery region with two large lakes between the silted course of the ‘Old Trent’ and a sweeping meander of the new one. Creeping Yellow-cress Rorippa sylvestris has slender fruits unlike the stumpy ones on Marsh Yellow-cress that we saw last week.
The lake margins had Marsh Cudweed Gnaphalium uliginosum, Grey Club-rush Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, and Whorled Mint Mentha x verticillata.
As well as Round-fruited Rush Juncus compressus….
…and Toad Rush Juncus bufonius.
Spiked Water-milfoil Myriophylum spicatum was in the lake itself and Sea Club-rush Bolboschoenus maritimus was in the old Trent.
The watery habitat, with a lot of willows too, explains the presence of this spectacular beetle; its size (at about 3cm long) does not come over in the photo but I knew I had never seen one of these before.
Musk Beetle Aromia moschata has a very scattered distribution in England and likes it wet; its larvae live in the healthy wood of willows. When it flew, it was even more spectacular.
Silver Y moths were abundant and we saw one Migrant Hawker before we moved on to North Clifton and South Clifton where we confirmed the continuing presence of an inland rarity.
Calling briefly at the foot of the viaduct to confirm Annual Mercury Mercurialis annua…
…which, if you like your plants alive, would be more delightful than the Slender Thistle Carduus tenuiflorus.
Though there were some rosettes of next year’s plants too.
We finished the day at Collingham where the Trent kept its shoreline plants secret but the final hour in the gravel workings was more interesting with 7 Little Egrets, one or two Curlews and a too distant godwit for a specific id.