Friday, 19 January 2018

North and south - a county of contrasts

After last week's visit to the northernmost point of Monmouthshire (VC35) I have now recorded bryophytes at the southernmost point.  This is on the seawall near Lamby Pit (in modern day Cardiff), and supported 12 species on concrete and rock, with Tortula muralis, Grimmia pulvinata and Syntrichia intermedia being the southernmost mosses of all.

I didn't realise there's Coast Path parking almost next to this southernmost point, so I made an expedition of it - the 2.5 miles each way walk from Peterstone Wentloog past my birding haunts of old.  Moss diversity was pretty limited, and the only non-epiphytic liverwort was some Pellia endiviifolia on a ditch bank.  Useful notes were made on various habitats, with highlights on the seawall being an impressive abundance of Fissidens incurvus on the inland side of the seawall bank, Drepanocladus aduncus in seasonally flooded track areas, Microbryum davallianum on thin soil overlying rocks on the seaward side of the seawall, and some large colonies of Orthotrichum anomalum on the seawall rocks.

Although the saltmarsh is extensive here on Rumney Great Wharf, it is perhaps too low-lying and not quite open enough for bryophytes.  I eventually found a couple of tiny shoots of Hennediella heimii on a raised area >50m out from the seawall, whilst the other Gwent halophyte Tortula pallida was abundant on an area of stony saltmarsh disturbed in the past by pipeline excavation.

It was not a vintage day's bryology, but it was good to go somewhere I have never been before, and 4 tetrads have been ticked off on the 'to do' list (leaving 103 unvisited by me in VC35).

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