Thursday, January 03, 2019

BSBI New Year Plant Hunt number five

We went out on our 5th New Year Plant Hunt last Saturday - technically, according to the calendar, in 2018 - but this was the hunt for 2019 as now defined by the BSBI.

I may as well admit that it was our joint worst performance so far but, as always, it was rewarding and provided useful records beyond the tally of those plants actually managing to flower in the rather adverse conditions.

We saw an awful lot of dandelions before we found the one plant just opening its flowers and this was the general case for most common species. Not a single Hazel in the chosen area was shedding pollen (a requirement to count as "flowering") - but, of course, I saw some fully mature catkins on the way back into Hay by the roadside...

But I choose our areas partly because they are places we need to make more records in and we got to know this under-recorded area well, finding a pretty certain Vicia tetrasperma plant right by Pontsticill dam which will make a first record for the area since 2000.

I hope to see something like this in a revisit at flowering time:
Smooth Tare Ffacbysen lefn or Vicia tetrasperma (from the Gwent Levels)

I photographed this from the dam wall base to examine further in the pub at lunch:
Cat's-ear Melynydd or Hypochaeris radicata

We also saw an undoubtedly planted Berberis darwinii or Darwin's Barberry in the reservoir car park - with one flower (which helped identification).

The dam has a spooky "Bell-mouth spillway" - there must be a horror story involving one of these !

I have a video including the sound even a small amount of overflow creates here:

Bell-mouth Spillway video

Our previous hunts:

Builth 2015 (19 flowering)
Llangorse 2016 (19 again)
Ystradgynlais 2017 (18)
Crickhowell 2018 (53 - we will probably never surpass this!)
Pontsticill 2019 (well last days of 2018 really!) - this blog (18)

There have been eight altogether since the event started and "we" have participated in five. (Myself in four.)

No comments: