Sunday, 14 April 2019

Crymlyn Burrows

A patch of Syntrichia ruralis ssp. ruraliformis lacking hairpoints was something I've not come across previously. I could find any reference to varietal status, though the reduced hairpoint character seems analogous to that of S. montana var. calva. The site is comprised brownfield dune vegetation on rubble and sand behind the hard engineered sea defences. Lots of Glaucium flavum too, with close to 300 counted.

At Penllergaer, a large mound of Leucobryum glaucum that had developed at the base of a large Rhododendron at  was new for SS69, though the tree had been cut down and the regrowth provided minimal shade / humidity. It looks like this area could be lost to the expanding residential development taking place at the site. 

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Rhossili Down

Tortula wilsonii (tbc) was the highlight of a wander around the n.w. section of Rhossili Down yesterday. It was growing as a few discrete, but dense patches totaling c.3 sqcm on soil ledges on a Brownstones Formation outcrop, Gower's oldest (Silurian) rocks SS41729038. Immediate soil associates included Sedum anglicum, Thymus polytrichus, Hypnum cupressiforme var. resupinatum, Trichostomum brachydontium, Pseudephemerum nitidum, Ceratodon purpureum, Cladonia sp. & Lepraria sp.

The same ledges held a few patches of Campylopus fragilis, at what is only the second site for Glamorgan.

Another Glamorgan first was Philonotis arnellii (tbc), which occurred as thinly scattered shoots on the steep mossy bank below Gorse and Bramble scrub, adjacent to the footpath at the base of the hill SS41649051. This is the site where I previously found Fissidens curvatus, which I failed to refind yesterday. Associates included Fissidens bryoides, Amblystegium serpens, Mnium hornum, Kindbergia praelonga, Richardia chamaedryfolia, Lophocolea bidentata & Weissia perssonii.

A small outcrop at the same location held Pterogonium gracile with Riccia subbifurca on the overlying thin soil crust. Anther colony of the Riccia was found higher up the hill on an ant hill.

All in all, it was a good afternoon, with a bonus ring Ouzel to boot (though not the views enjoyed by Charles & Hilary and Cwm Ivy the week before). The walk off the hill, following the stream below three spring heads, which held Sphagnum denticulatum & subnitens, plus Bryum alpinum & Sarmentypnum exannulatum, added some useful tetrad records that included Hookeria lucens, Plagiothecium denticulatum, Scpania undulata, Pellia neesiana, Campylium stellatum & Oxyrrhynchium speciosum.

Friday, 29 March 2019

On the relationship between the rare moss Bryum marratii Wilson and a dune aquifer

Just a short note following on from the paper last year on Bryum marratii at Whiteford. Posted here as a useful reference point. Im sure you all have the journal access but if not and you want a copy drop me an email.

Callaghan & Farr (2019) On the relationship between the rare moss Bryum marratii Wilson and a dune aquifer, Journal of Bryology, 41:1, 59-62, DOI: 10.1080/03736687.2018.1551591

Port Eynon Point

A Fossombronia, which was widely distributed along the heavily trodden grass walkway on Port Eynon Point headland, under the microscope proved to be incurva and not the expected husnotii. This is only the third record for vc41.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Harpalejeunea new for Pembrokeshire

Matt Sutton's continued scouring of VC45 for species missed during recording for Mosses & Liverworts of Pembrokeshire has produced yet another excellent record. Harpalejeunea molleri on a rock by the Afon Tewgyll, south of Carn Meini is the first of the desiccation-sensitive trio of Aphanolejeunea, Drepanolejeunea & Harpalejeunea to be seen in Pembrokeshire.  Whilst Colura is now commonplace, the other three species remain extremely rare in the southern half of Wales, and the nearest locality for Harpalejeunea is in NE Carmarthenshire.  I checked some stretches of the Afon Tewgyll about 12 years ago, but never dreamed of Harpalejeunea!

Friday, 22 March 2019


A lichen survey of the mature Hawthorn scrub surrounding the Nash Reedbeds on the Gwent Levels Wetlands Reserve provided an excellent opportunity to record bryophytes in two under-recorded tetrads - ST38G and ST38L. Both were boosted to >50 species, which is a decent total for the Levels. Recording in ST38L started at Nash Church, where the churchyard supported 48 bryophyte species including Orthotrichum stramineum, Didymodon luridus and Orthotrichum cupulatum, the last of which was new for the Gwent Levels.  Drepanocladus aduncus was abundant in damp, low-lying areas behind the seawall, and a couple of shoots of Scleropodium purum were a surprise under dense Hawthorn scrub.
Highlight of ST38L was an area of Pulverised Fly Ash mounds, which held five species of thallose liverwort - Lunularia cruciata, Marchantia polymorpha ruderalis, Aneura pinguis, Riccardia chamedryfolia and Pellia endiviifolia - alongside frequent Leptobryum pyriforme.  Lime-rich gravel held abundant Bryum sp. with unripe sporophytes and long-excurrent costas - which is probably B. caespiticium but needs a return visit - Hypnum lacunosum and Fissidens dubius, with the Fissidens being new for the Levels.  A quick scramble along the seawall at Goldcliff Point produced 15 moss species in the fragmentary tetrad ST38Q.

I have just 70 tetrads to visit to achieve complete tetrad coverage in VC35, although finishing recording by the end of 2020 seems a little far-fetched.