Thursday, September 05, 2013

Exploring the borders

Llyn Fan Fawr
A rather hasty blog this week as I am off to Shrewsbury for the annual BSBI Recorder's Conference tomorrow. No takers for the group again for my Llyn Fan Fawr / Fan Breicheiniog excursion on Tuesday so my wife, Barbara, came along. It proved to be a useful scouting expedition for another recording meeting next year.
We started out from the parking place with this view of our destination. The going proved relatively easy but the path on the map and the actual trodden paths proved to be non-coinciding - and the path on the ground wasn't visible at all at times - but deciding a heading wasn't difficult and the river crossings were all easy as were the boggy bits. It does depend though on a spell of dryish weather for this I guess.

I recorded two 1 km squares on the way up and it proved to be relatively low interest as predicted by Mike Porter. This was disappointing as I was struck by the richness of the streams flowing the other way "round the corner" in Carmarthenshire earlier in the year on a Hay U3A geology walk there. The clue is in the choice of location for the geology trip of course.

Still recording the atlas project requires good lists of what is there - even if not much. By the time we got back there were 70 records altogether but many of these came from up by the lake.

The lake itself wasn't exactly abundant with water life either but the margins proved better and I went to investigate the western shore while B. did some reading.

This was encouraging as getting to the rocks shown was easy and safe - I am the white dot lower right of centre under the first rock outcrop. Getting to the upper outcrop was also easy and, in fact there is a ravine going up to the top here that looks negotiable with care. The rocks here were some sort of conglomerate (geology again) and clearly species rich. I was able to do some vegitatively but another trip next year to see the flowers would be well worth it.

 Amongst the highlights for this short exploration was Fir Club moss - Huperzia selago (above).  And Butterworts (below) were also in evidence - having been conspicuous by their absence on the way up (despite plenty of habitat).

So this will be a good place for a meeting next year - with a quicker 1.5 mile trek to the lake as we won't need to record that part next year.

Today I was called out to see some road verge plants near Crickadarn. The Hypericum (St. John's Wort) proved to be a hybrid between Perforate and Imperforate St. John's Worts but next to it was some Hypericum pulchrum, Slender St John's Wort and also Orpine - so well worth the call out.

Orpine, Sedum teliphium

Do contact me if you see something unusual near where you are (in Brecknockshire) - I'm happy to come and investigate.

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