Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Year End and the New Year Plant Hunt

Our only outing since the last entry saw two of us braving the cold at Twmpath near Erwood. It's certainly an interesting area (geologically as well as botanically) to revisit later on and we did manage a new record for the Atlas of Callitriche brutia under ice in a pool at a high point on the common. This is obviously worthy of further examination in warm weather as the pond's unlikely position is due to it being spring fed.

The rocks near the road (various Silurian beds) had abundant ferns including Black Spleenwort in some profusion. I photographed a small plant in good condition:
Black Spleenwort, Duegredynen goesddu or Asplenium adiantum-nigrum

Meanwhile some last minute submissions of records have been coming in for the atlas deadline including this welcome one for the Black Mountains spotted by Andy Cross near the summit of Pen Carreg-calch in May 2019.
Mountain Pansy, Trilliw y mynydd or Viola lutea

This plant must be reasonably frequent in the area but the only other sighting since 2000 was by myself on a family walk under Twmpa near Hay on 2001. We see them reasonably frequently on the less-grazed Epynt range.

Hirwaun Two Monad Hunt with Fish and Chips 19

We started the 2020 campaign by taking part in this BSBI challenge at Hirwaun. It wasn't long after I proposed the site (not recorded significantly in the Vice County) that I was informed that we would "have to" have Fish and Chips at Penaluna's. This was great advice and this award winning Fish Cafe deserves to be better known.

 The New Year Plant Hunt Group

In the picture we are proudly standing by a very dead Fragrant Agrimony plant - a good find for the whole 10 km square and only slightly offset by the discovery that Barry had already found the population on his side of the border in Glamorgan Vice County (in 2015). The river that forms the boundary here is underground (due to human activity) but my grid reference put us firmly on our side of the border for this record. There wasn't a lot in flower and we "enhanced" our count by recording flowering plants in two 1km squares. The overall list of species we managed by examining a lot of dead stuff was good however.

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 (18)
Hirwaun 2020 19 flowering in two monads (with duplicates!)

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