Pages

Friday, June 08, 2018

Bits and bobs and some woodland scrambling

Over the Hay Festival I didn't do much formal recording but did note down significant plants and flowers I spotted while out on walks with family or even when walking between the festival site and home.

Alan Salter has been doing better than this though as voluntary warden of The Byddwn Nature Reserve near Brecon where he is gradually adding to the list we already have of plants that grow there.

One of his latest finds, not recorded for the area for 45 years, was this and the picture he sent shows very clearly that the defining three-nerved structure of the leaves is repeated on the sepals (the green parts behind the petals).
Three-nerved Sandwort, Tywodlys teirnerf or Moehringia trinervia (photo: Alan Salter)

This approach to recording is a good one. General recording goes through an area and passes on - sometimes we come back at another time of year but you cannot get absolutely everything at one or two visits.

I did follow up a report of Marsh Orchids giving a good display at Llangorse near the Bird Hide and enjoyed my visit to the meadows, picking up a few other species not recorded even when a whole bunch of botanists came for a meeting two years ago.

The orchids were very varied in character and I am loath to be too definitive yet on exactly which species they were but here is one with tentative identification:

Southern (?) Marsh-orchid, Tegeirian-y-gors gogleddol or Dactylorhiza praetermissa

Then our next "big outing" was to woodland near the Wye at Llyswen.

We refound Green Hellebore, last recorded many years ago, but failed to find another rarity that used to be there. There was plenty to enjoy and record though with few pictures being taken until the afternoon when we stopped for a break near a magnificent Oak Pollard we came across. By then two of our number had departed.

We also came across some small tree saplings that were probably we thought suckers and were just edging towards deciding they must be Aspen when we found the parent tree - quite a distance from the first sucker we saw. This is the principal way in which Aspen spreads I think.

A short discussion on the certainty of some leaves we found being Moschatel was cut short when we found a fruiting flower head that certainly confirmed it. (Three of the five flowers don't seem to have produced successful fruit.)
Moschatel fruits, Mwsglys or Adoxa moschatellina

And the Yellow Pimpernel patches were lovely:
Yellow Pimpernel, Gwlyddyn melyn Mair or Lysimachia nemorum

There were also carpets of Woodruff and near the end of our exploration we came upon this "Ferny Dell" that the photograph doesn't do full justice to.



Friday, May 25, 2018

Good displays

The "ordinary" flowers are putting on a good show this year (fighting back from the late start ?) so this blog will mainly feature well known plants and flowers.

At the beginning of the week a few of us met on the SENTA range to discuss management of a good wet meadow near the edge of the range. I took the opportunity to extend my, already started, list for them.

This was everywhere:
Bugle, Glesyn y coed or Ajuga reptans

And Marsh Marigold had several good patches:
Marsh-marigold, Gold y gors or Caltha palustris

But most of the good species on my, now very long, list will not be making a display until later. The meadows should prosper with some benign grazing management and, dare I say it, the occasional; disturbances from training on the range. It already has a wide variety of conditions - from bouncy bog to 'dry with anthills' and the occasional man-made trenches just enhance that.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Then later in the week I went to the border again - the longest round trip for recording in Brecknock I think I have yet done - to the Llyn Brianne area.
It wasn't a long list there and the picture sums up some of the recording. But I did make several walks down to the lake edge (basically wherever possible) and hence got some pictures of the great scenery.


As for the flower displays - here is a first for this blog I think:
Daisy, Llygad y dydd or Bellis perennis 

And we normally find this hiding somewhat in moorland:
Tormentil, Tresgl y moch or Potentilla erecta 

Everywhere:
Green-ribbed Sedge, Hesgen ddeulasnod or Carex binervis 

At a headland a nice display from a Scot's Pine:
Scots Pine, Pinwydden yr Alban or Pinus sylvestris

And young Larch cones nearby:
Hybrid Larch, Llarwydden or Larix x marschlinsii

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Car Parks and Commons

We explored the border with Carmarthenshire on Thursday. In fact most of our time was spent in that county as the border has changed since the "recording borders" were set in 1850 or so.

Mike, my co recorder, was able to come out with us which helped a lot with identifications - several plants I would have had to examine in detail or even take home to check were instantly recognised.

But before I got there I had to check on two rarities Ray Woods had alerted me to:

First a tiny annual that has mainly done its thing by now in Hay Market car park. A first sighting for a very long time in Brecknock.
Little Mouse-ear, Clust-y-llygoden fach or Cerastium semidecandrum

And this is in Brecon Theatre car park.
Spotted Medick, Maglys brith or Medicago arabica

Again not something we see in Brecon at all often. Growing with Black Medick which we are familiar with.

After photographing these I eventually got to the target area and joined Mike who had already identified many species at the parking area there. Including:

Bird Cherry, Coeden geirios yr adar or Prunus padus

A source of eternal confusion to those of us who have a smattering of Latin as the close relative, Prunus avium, isn't "Bird Cherry"!

We soon came upon a significant patch of this Brecknock rarity. Not in flower yet but readily identified by my co-recorder:
Fragrant Agrimony, Llysiau'r-dryw pêr or Agrimonia procera (photographed near Stanner Rocks)

These are the type of leaves we saw - which should have been familiar to me as I do grow it at home...

Up on the common in the afternoon we got some lovely views and quite the greatest abundance of Wood Sorrel in open ground I have seen. (Open now but Bracken-shaded later.)

And plenty of this as well:
Thyme-leaved Speedwell, Rhwyddlwyn dail teim or Veronica serpyllifolia


In all we recorded 140 different species - many of which won't have been recorded recently enough for the Atlas.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Lake and a Wood


One of my group lead a walk for the Talgarth Walking Festival at Llangorse Lake on Monday with myself backing up. This yielded some first records for some time from the churchyard wall – including Erophila verna and Saxifraga tridactylites.

Common Whitlowgrass, Llysiau’r-bystwn ar or Erophila verna

Rue-leaved Saxifrage, Tormaen tribys or Saxifraga tridactylites

We also saw Ranunuculus bulbosus - recorded before for the meadows around the lake - but not very often. It later turned up at the meeting point for yesterday's meeting - again not recorded there (in Brecon) for a long time.

Bulbous Buttercup, Blodyn-ymenyn bondew or Ranunculus bulbosus

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Then yesterday we went to record in and around a woodland in Glyn Tarell - of which we got a great view later in the day:
Glyn Tarell near Brecon






We saw plenty of good things including:
Bilberry, Llusen or Vaccinium myrtillus


Yellow Archangel, Marddanhadlen felen or Lamiastrum galeobdolon


Marsh Valerian, Triaglog y gors or Valeriana dioica

... and a Liverwort in full display:

Not forgetting the Bluebells...

And we heard a Cuckoo...

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Woods and Roads

I was in a woodland near Llangenny last Thursday - with many great things to see and record - perhaps the highlight being this:
Sweet Cicely, Creithig bêr or Myrrhis odorata

It may not actually be a native but has been mentioned in print over many years as a plant that grows along the Grwyne Fawr River. This is the first time I saw it in that wild-growing habitat.

Then yesterday two of us set out for my spring long walk in rather cold, later wet but ultimately pleasant weather.

The view back from Heol Cefn y Gaer as we set out from Defynnog

Heol Cefn y Gaer is clearly an old track - now a bridle path that takes the ridge south of Defynnog towards Cray and beyond before meeting up with the still used road known as Heol Senni.

This took us through six 1km recording squares so involved some paper-juggling as we proceeded.

In all we made 164 records of 110 different species.

Silver Birch, Bedwen arian or Betula pendula


Wood-sorrel, Suran y coed or Oxalis acetosella and
Intermediate Polypody, or Polypodium interjectum



Brychgoed Welsh Independent Chapel
(There were some interesting naturalized plants in the walls - Snow in Summer and Caucasian Stonecrop - and copious Maidenhair Spleenwort which we didn't see anywhere else all day.)

Detail picture from Sue:


This was very common all along the old byway:
Wood-sorrel, Suran y coed or Oxalis acetosella

And Sue spotted one small patch of this gem.
Moschatel, Townhall Clock or Adoxa moschatellina

Fan Frynych with Pen y Fan behind to the left taken from Heol Cefn y Gaer.

More pictures from Sue: