Monday, July 06, 2015

Beaten by Midges one day, then Kenfig

Only two of us offered ourselves as sacrifice to the fierce midges of the Nant Tadarn valley - a tributary of the Towy in farthest Northwest Brecknockshire - but it was worth it even if they probably shortened our visit.

This area hasn't recorded for a whole and was, it has to be said, dominated by a few species (Mat-grass and Star Sedge among them) so the number of records was small. But we did find rocks with Fir Club-moss and a single Parsley Fern. Records of the latter pop up from time to time in this area over the years but not often. (It is much more abundant high in Snowdonia.)

Fir Clubmoss, Cnwp-fwsogl mawr or Huperzia selago

Parsley Fern, Rhedynen bersli or Cryptogramma crispa

The latter wasn't the happiest plant I have ever seen but there were lots of decayed leaves from last year and it appears to be withstanding the attentions the local sheep able to reach up to it.

And we also found Bladder Sedge at the source of the Nant (together with abundant Marsh Violet plants):
Bladder-sedge, Hesgen chwysigennaidd or Carex vesicaria

Then four of us gathered at Kenfig Visitor Centre for Brecknockshire Botany Group's first foreign visit. It was great to be just doling botany without having to record - and we all learnt from each other in a variety of ways. The flora was of course also rather different from that we are used to.

Early Marsh-orchid, Tegeirian-y-gors ar or Dactylorhiza incarnata
Adder's-tongue, Tafod y neidr or Ophioglossum vulgatum (we saw this in abundance)

Lesser Water-plantain, Llyriad-y-dwr bach or Baldellia ranunculoides
Examining Fragrant Agrimony

And, as we set off back towards the cars, we stumbled upon several plants of the Rare Fen Orchid that grows at Kenfig, having failed to find it at a currently-known site earlier. It has been recorded here in the past but this refind delighted the Warden.
Fen Orchid, Tegeirian y fign galchog or Liparis loeselii - note Adder's Tongue and Marsh Helleborine adjacent to it.

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