Saturday, June 13, 2015

A nice find, North Wales and more Orchid hunting

A bit of a catch up as we set of for a week's break immediately after the Wildlife Trust guided walk at Ystrad Fawr Nature Reserve. We progressed slowly - there was so much to see in this new and as yet not fully explored reserve!

It was nice to find abundant Changing Forget-me-not - named because the flowers change colour from first opening as the inflorescence unrolls. (Starting yellow and progressing through white to blue.)
Changing Forget-me-not, Sgorpionllys amryliw or Myosotis discolor

And there was a large patch of Northern Marsh Orchids:
Northern Marsh-orchid, Tegeirian-y-gors gogleddol or Dactylorhiza purpurella

Plus plenty of Water Horsetail:
Water Horsetail, Marchrawnen y dwr or Equisetum fluviatile

But the Pearly Everlasting wasn't flowering yet - the first of some "too early" moments this very late season:
Pearly Everlasting, Edafeddog hirhoedlog or Anaphalis margaritacea

And the real find came a week or so later when Steph was out with a volunteer:
Royal Fern, Rhedynen gyfrdwy or Osmunda regalis

This is known in the area but hadn't been seen here before and is not a common find at all in Brecknock.

On the way back we called at Cae Bryntywarch as Phil had alerted us that Petty Whin had been seen (not spotted there in recent years). It proved easy to find from some excellent sight lines provided by Phil. (Not difficult to spot when flowering actually but very hard when not.)
Petty Whin, Cracheithinen or Genista anglica

And it was nice to see one Wood Bitter-vetch had flowered:
Wood Bitter-vetch, Ffacbysen chwerw or Vicia orobus

Then we had our week off in Snowdonia and I photographed only things that took my fancy:
Heath Milkwort, Amlaethai’r waun or Polygala serpyllifolia
(Especially showy this year maybe? Common in our area as well and not easy to distinguish from the "common" species. There are differences in the lowermost leaves and the outer sepal shape.)

Hare's-tail Cottongrass, Plu’r gweunydd unben or Eriophorum vaginatum
Also common with us.

Here is just one snap from Snowdon:

On my return the Botany Group spent a day at Vicarage Meadows - looking for Small White Orchid which is normally in flower by this time - but wasn't. But we had a great time (as one always does there) and particularly said goodbye with cake to Paul Green who is returning to Ireland after his stint as a very helpful BSBI Welsh Officer who the Brecknockshire Botany Group will miss.

I try to photograph all Sedges when a) sure what it is and b) it's looking photogenic (for a sedge):
Carnation Sedge Hesgen lwydlas, Carex panicea or Carex panicea

Steph was delighted to find Marsh Fritillary Butterflys on the way to the cars through the lower meadow. We knew their food plant (Devil's-bit Scabious) was there but it was thought to be too isolated for them - so a great record.

At Cae Pwyll y Bo nearby the Globeflowers were wonderful and just at their peak. A great tribute to the management by staff and volunteers.
Globeflower, Cronnell or Trollius europaeus

And this is now very abundant in the lanes around there from a few small patches seven years ago. It's an alien invader but not by any means one of the worst...
Pink Purslane, Porpin pinc or Claytonia sibirica

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