Monday, 4 April 2016

Worms Head jaunt

Devil's Bridge
bryos become scarcer beyond here, although there was a little Bryum kunzei
west of here along with the more regular salt-tolerant species
Sandra, myself and a couple of friends made a mid-morning trek to the outer Worm yesterday, in conditions breezier and chillier than expected. Due to the mid-day cut-off tide, there were only a few brief opportunities to search for bryophytes, the outcropping Limestone on the higher parts of the inner head appearing to be the most interesting part of the headland. There we no sheep on the headland, but there have clearly been animals out there for some time over the winter period judging by the amount of sheep dung on the ridge. Unsurprisingly I couldn't refind any Weissia levieri (recorded there by Smith in 1962) but a few additional species were added and the total for SS38Y which now stands at 37 (full list below). Note Worms Head is the only land within SS38.
view from high ground on inner head
view from middle head looking back to inner head
higher ground on south-facing dip slope of inner head location
for Tortula viridifolia, Bryum canariense & B. kunzei
T. viridifolia - Mediterranean-Atlantic element
note the rounded leaf tips with long excurrent nerve
and recurved margins, plus lack of a peristome
For the record, here's the list of species recorded on Worms Head (A.J.E. Smith, M.F.V. Corley & myself):
Acaulon muticum
Amblystegium serpens var. salinum
Barvula convoluta
Barbula unguiculata
Brachythecium albicans
Bryum argenteum
Bryum canariense
Bryum capillare
Bryum dichotomum
Bryum kunzei
Bryum pallens
Bryum rubens
Campyliadelphus chrysophyllus
Ceratodon purpureus
Didymodon fallax
Fissidens dubius
Funaria hygrometrica
Homalothecium sericeum
Hypnum cupressiforme var. lacunosum
Kindbergia praelonga
Metzgeria furcata
Phascum cuspidatum
Plagiomnium elatum
Scorpiurium circinatum
Syntrichia montana
Syntrichia ruralis
Tortella flavovirens
Tortella nitida
Tortula atrovirens
Tortula lanceola
Tortula protobryoides
Tortula viridifolia
Trichostomum brachydontium
Trichostomum crispulum
Weissia brachycarpa var. obliqua
Weissia controversa var. crispata
Weissia levieri


  1. Well done Barry. I've not been out there for years. The first time I made it all the way to the end I was rewarded with three dolphins leaping out of the sea.

  2. It's great to add species to that hectad. I have never been to Worm's Head - it's one of very few south Wales hectads I've never recorded bryos in, with Sker Point (SS77) being the only other one I can think of.

  3. It's a great walk and I'm sure you'll add a few more species when you finally get round to visiting.
    PS you're forgetting ST26 (Flat Holm) which still only has 1 species!!!