Thursday, 16 March 2017

Thanks to the gulls

I was in Bangor earlier this week for Butterfly Conservation's annual grant meeting with NRW. I always try and get up early enough to have a morning stroll before the meeting. This proved worthwhile last year, with Schistidium elegantulum new for VC49 on a wall near our hotel, but this year there was something much better...

I was woken well before my alarm by noisy gulls on the roof, and so my walk took me a bit further out of town than usual. I headed west through the narrow band of oak woodland at the top of the foreshore, above the Menai Strait. There was a fair diversity of bryos in an inviting looking crevice in the rocks, kept damp by overhanging oak boughs. A few samples were grabbed, and on checking these at home yesterday evening I was delighted and more than a little surprised to find Cephaloziella turneri among them.

Des Callaghan found this nationally rare liverwort in a gorge in Meirionydd in 2015 - the first North Wales record in nearly a century. My find was in surroundings more like the creek bank sites in Pembrokeshire, with associates being Mnium hornum, Diplophyllum albicans, Lejeunea lamacerina and Saccogyna viticulosa. My sample contained a single perianth.

For once, I was grateful to the noisy gulls.


  1. This is such an exciting find, George. Lots of people, myself included, have looked for C turneri around the Menai Straits, and I even had a good search image from its habitat in Pembs. Tim and Pete will be particularly interested. It's such a gorgeous little plant too :-)

  2. That's a star find George! I hope you rewarded the gulls with some tasty morsels.

  3. That is a very significant dot on the UK map George. Very nice. It must be worth looking out for in VC41.

  4. Thanks chaps. I was very lucky indeed.