Witchwood Biodiversity Update 2022

2021 and 2022 were relatively quiet years in terms of surveying at the Witchwood. I spent sadly little time there - surveying or otherwise, and I felt the loss deeply. But I did make several new plant and animal species discoveries I'd like to share, in addition to a number of changes and corrections to the Witchwood Biodiversity Report 2020

I'm posting a summary here and a link to the full document here (5 pages of content).

Witchwood Biodiversity Update 2022 - Summary

This report further documents the biodiversity of the Witchwood, six beautiful acres of forest in Windsor, New Hampshire, USA with a four-seasons brook, forest seeps, vernal pools, and a wonderful diversity of plants, animals, fungi, and more.

This is a short update/addendum to the much more extensive Witchwood Biodiversity Report 2020, published Feb 9, 2021. This update focuses on changes to known plant taxa (Plantae), while the 2020 report is much broader in scope.

Overall, a total of 203 plant taxa have been identified across 4 years of surveying and ~240 hours of survey time. The full list of known plant taxa is in Appendix A. All observations and identification details can be found in the Welcome to the Witchwood iNaturalist project. I blog informally about the land, its inhabitants, and my adoration of it at alandlikethisone.com.

The following plant taxa were observed in 2019 or 2020, but did not receive identifications until after the 2020 report was published: smooth blackberry (Rubus canadensis), white-edge sedge (Carex debilis), liverwort genus Frullania, and rustwort (Nowellia curvifolia). Scirpus genus (included in 2020 report) was further differentiated into Scirpus microcarpus and Scirpus cyperinus.

The following 8 plant taxa were newly observed in 2021 or 2022: serviceberry (Amelanchier sp.), mountain holly (Ilex mucronata), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), delicate fern moss (Thuidium delicatulum), basswood (Tilia americana), giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea), eastern willow-herb (Epilobium coloratum), and black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis).

This report also notes plant taxon changes and corrects mistakes in the 2020 report.

In addition to plants, the following animal species were newly observed in 2021 or 2022 via trail camera: belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon), wood duck (Aix sponsa), hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus), wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia), fisher (Pekania pennanti), North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), American beaver (Castor canadensis) (previously evidenced only by chewed wood), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and North American deer mouse (Peromyscus).

I look forward to spending significantly more time at the Witchwood in 2023 and plan to focus on: neglected taxa, identifying genus-level observations to species, and refinding taxa not seen in 2021-2022. I have missed this land so much, and I can’t wait to be deeply connected again.

Questions, thoughts, and corrections are eagerly welcomed! Contact me at ljcost@gmail.com or on iNaturalist @quietlymagical.