Sunday, June 06, 2010

River Thame valley Chearsley - Buckinghamshire

Between 13:00 and 15:00 today I had another walk in the valley of the River Thame at Chearsley. The main purpose was to see if I could be more certain about the possible True Fox Sedge (Carex vulpina) found on June 1st at SP729099. Using the Carex Plant Crib from the BSBI (, I think it is clear that these plants are Carex otrubae – the common False Fox Sedge. A photograph of the acute ligule is included with this post, as I think it makes the new identification definitive.

I think what is confusing me is the fact that some plants are very robust while others are not and that they all appear to have the same characteristics. The ligule picture is from a robust type. A photograph of a ‘weaker’ plant clump is included as are shots of the stems of both the robust and non-robust types. I will also post all this to iSpot ( to see what the experts think!

Update from miked on iSpot - 'Tricky one, had you considered C. spicata and the hybrids with C. otrubae too? Some of the Carex can be very tricky and need close examinations of fine details, good though you photos are I suspect they are not quite good enough to say. Its clear that it is from the group containing C. otrubae but can't be sure its that exact species.'

However, my walk was not all about sedges as the following were also of interest.


• Small White (Pieris rapae); 2

• Green-veined White (Pieris napi);2

• Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines); 1

• Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus); 6

• Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus); 4

Other Insects:

• Damselfly, the Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); many ♂ plus slightly lower numbers of ♀. Photographs of a mating pair included with this post.

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); mating pair

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); mating pair

• The small ‘livestock drinking pond’ along the Dad Brook was ‘full’ of fry. I will assume they were Minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus) though I am far from sure!

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