Thursday, July 10, 2014

thank heaven for watsonian vice counties!

All biological recorders should use the watsonian vice county system because this is unchanging, and allows historical data to be compared, unlike conventional county boundaries which can be, and are, changed by governments. I have often looked enviously at Salcey Forest, Northants. This is a wonderful, large, ancient forest in south Northants. Historically, there are records of iris, but, until a few years ago it seemed to have disappeared from this forest. In recent years, it has made a comeback. Dave Wilton of our Upper Thames branch [berks/bucks/oxon] advised me that I should look at the vice county border for Bucks, and, to my delight, this shows that the south eastern corner of Salcey Forest is in Bucks! I went there a few days ago with Doug Goddard of Northants branch, and, in the Bucks part, nota bene, we saw 8 iris in different places doing their business around the tree tops. So, a new Upper Thames iris habitat could be noted.
However, the numbers so far in UT are well down on last year, although 2013 was a record year for this region.
This website records iris being seen at Wokingham, Berks, on June 16th. This is extraordinarily early, and I am trying to contact the recorder to authenticate this sighting.

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