Sunday, 21 December 2014


Compared to the last two posts on the blog this one is a little mundane, so if you're hoping for unusual species then stop reading now!

ST17E (north of St Fagans) isn't the most exciting looking tetrad on the face of it, being mostly improved pasture. However, it does contain two long sections of disused railway line, some arable, small woodland blocks and Tydu Marsh SSSI. There are around 29 species recorded in this tetrad, nearly all of them from CCW surveys at the marsh in the 90s (according to the schedule this supports the best population of Broad-leaved Cotton-grass in VC41).

I've been feeling bryologically starved of late, so yesterday morning I sneaked off for a couple of hours and walked some of the footpaths and old railway lines in the east of the tetrad. It was like revisiting an old friend, as I last walked this area for the Bird Atlas in 2008.

Nothing remarkable was recorded, but I noted 49 taxa in total, taking the tetrad list past the 60 mark - and there should be plenty more if the arable and the SSSI get a proper look.

The most interesting bit yesterday was the flushed banks of the railway cutting in the photo below, which supported Brachythecium rivulare (fruiting), Thuidium tamariscinum, Plagiochila porelloides and Fissdens adianthoides.

Other species just about worthy of note elsewhere were fruiting Brachythecium velutinum on a hazel branch, Fissidens incurvus fruiting abundantly on a soil bank at the edge of some improved pasture and Didymodon sinuosus on a rock (limestone?) at the base of a hedge.


  1. Glad you found time to get out and keep recording in the east ticking over.

  2. Ticking over...but with a very slow pulse.