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Kirkmaiden Community Council

Serving the communities of the Mull of Galloway, Drummore and Port Logan.

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South West Environmental Information Centre

Web site    https://swseic.org.uk/

The links below may not work because the page has been copied from the SWEIC news letter. Please click on the link above for the SWEIC web site.


Habitat management for butterflies

The first of two work parties at Carrick shore (west of Kirkcudbright and Borgue) was held last Sunday (8th Oct). The work is primarily to benefit butterflies that are being affected by over-growth of the gorse and, in particular, the very localised Northern Brown Argus, which breeds where its larval foodplant, Common Rock-rose, grows. The gorse is steadily shading out and reducing the breeding areas. A second work part is being held on Wednesday 11th October at 10am - please contact Shona Greig if you would like to come. The site is marked on the OS maps as Isle Mouth Bay, locally signposted as ‘Carrick’, at NX576500; approach is from the east side (via Knockbrex), with parking on the open area between the track and the beach.

DNA technology and the conservation of Scottish wildlife

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland in Edinburgh will host an event on 22nd October focusing on how DNS technology is supporting conservation efforts in Scotland. The event has been designed to showcase the work of scientists who are protecting wildlife in Scotland with the help of DNA technology, and provide a unique, first-hand opportunity to learn more about this amazing work. The event has been organised by the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) Trust and supported by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Click here for more details and booking.

National Moth Night, 12-14 October

National Moth Night will take place over the weekend of 12-14 October. This year's focus is on Ivy blossom and sugaring. In autumn, flowering Ivy is a great source of food for many insects and is popular with many butterflies, bees and hoverflies by day. At night the same plants provide an excellent nectar source for moths. If you have a patch of Ivy flowering nearby why not pop out after dark this weekend and see what species of moth are visiting? Or you can also try making your own sugary nectar or put out rotting fruit to attract insects. If you are unsure of ID, try taking photos and sending them to SWSEIC (along with the location and date) and we'll help you ID them. More information is available on the National Moth Night website.  

Please continue to help us to record the wildlife that you see by submitting records, either via our website, via iRecord or by downloading one of our recording forms and returning your sightings to SWSEIC.  



Species of the month  

Birch Polypore
Piptoporus betulinus  (Birch Polypore images ©northeastwildlife.co.uk)

Birch Polypore is a distinctive bracket fungus which grows on dead and living Birch trees. It develops from small white swellings on the trunk, becoming rounded or hoof-like at first and flattening to form a thick saucer shape as it matures. The cap is smooth and usually brownish above, often with some fleckles and cracks, fading to whitish below. It can reach up to 30cm in diameter.

The cap is also very tough. Leathery strips cut from the fruiting body were once used by barbers to sharpen their razors, hence its alternative name of Razor Strop Fungus. It can also be used as tinder for starting a fire, and smoulders slowly which enables transport of fire from place to place without the need for restarting.

There are very few confusion species that grow on Birch. The Hoof Fungus Fomes fomentarius may also be found growing on the same trees, but its fruiting body is always rougher, shows distinctive layering, and grows in a hoof-like shape from which its common name derives. Birch Polypore is a common and easily recognised species which, like many other fungi, is under-recorded in Dumfries and Galloway. A guaranteed site for both species? A walk through the birch woodland at Kirkconnell Flow nature reserve should provide good examples of both.