Sunday, 14 January 2018

A few bits and bobs from the Usk

I had a quick walk along the Usk at Abergavenny at lunchtime on Friday and it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen Hennediella stanfordensis for some time.  Water levels were low enough to be able drop down onto rivers edge and peer at the eroding banks.   Bank erosion due to recent winter floods meant that there were relatively few areas with any bryophyte cover and it took me some time to find a few small patches of Hennediella although were some nice colonies of Bryum gemmiferum here and there.    

Not sure I have ever looked at Hennediella under the microscope – the few teeth near the leaf tips are very distinctive.

Male and female Lunularia seem frequent along this part of the Usk – in the past I have kept an eye on mixed patches, but haven’t yet seen any sporophytes.

Further upstream past the hospital is a stoney bank where Bryum donianum grows – I am not sure I have ever looked at donianum under the microscope either, so I pulled a couple of leaves off – in the field the thick margin joining the nerve is obvious, but the tiny teeth probably less so.    

Bonus species included a common sandpiper, presumably the same bird I had seen further upstream earlier in the week, a kingfisher and there were also a few snowdrops flowering on a nearby roadside.


  1. Some useful search tips there Graham thanks. There has to be a reasonable chance the Hennediella can be found in Glamorgan, though after today's rain theres little chance of seeing any bankside vegetation of any sort!

  2. The bank in the photo usually has a small sand martin colony in the summer.... You never know, they may help spread Henediella around!