It was a great surprise to find Cowberry on a rocky knoll on Black Rock Mountain, as it is a new native species for the county. The Cowberry was spread out over an area 3 x 10 m. It was a monad I hadn't walked in before, with the only habitat being heather moorland, and a few flushes.
Tuesday 31 December 2019
2019 was another amazing year for recording in Wexford. Almost 60,000 records were collected during the year. We set out a few aims at the start of the year. One was to make sure all 2564 moands received a visit, this I’m glad to say we achieved. Another was to try and find 100 or more species per monad. At the end of 2018 there were 158 monads, by the end of this year there are just 78 monads with 99 or less species. None of these are ever likely to top the 100 mark, as most are around the border of the county, and are part monads or high up in the Blackstairs Mountains.
The average number of species per monad has also increased by 9 to 167.
The number of species for hectads has continued to increase. T02 which includes Wexford Town still has the largest list of species, reaching 953 this year. The average number of species for the 42 hectads is 658.
Refinds for the county
There have been some exceptional refinds of native species that were thought extinct in the county. Matthiola sinuata (Sea Stock) had been extinct in Ireland since 1925 was refound on the east coast. On the south coast Cytisus scoparius subsp. maritimus (Prostrate Broom) was refound on Baginbun Head in large numbers, this broom that hugs the ground rather than growing upright was last recorded here in the 1880s by H.C. Hart, and the first county record since the 1960s. Also on the south coast Lathyrus japonicus (Sea Pea) was found on a shingle beach on the Hook, 2nd county record, and first since 1994. It wasn’t just native species that we had luck with, even as late as December Angelica archangelica (Garden Angelica) was refound on the bank of the River Barrow at New Ross, this garden escape last reported here in 1994 by Ro FitzGerald.
Sea Pea above
Sea Stock above
New species & hybrids for the county
31 new species and hybrids have been added to the county list in 2019. 6 of these were hybrids. Only 8 out of the 31 were native: Geum x intermedium (Water x Wood Avens) and 7 dandelions. Even though found in 2018, but not named until 2019 was Euphrasia stricta, was the best record as this is a new eyebright for Ireland.
Other fun projects included over the winter months trying to find Stellaria media (Common Chickweed) for as many of the monads as possible. Once you got the hang of what habitat Common Chickweed liked it was reasonably easy to find, well used field gateways, fields resown to grass, and waste ground were the best places to look. Surprisingly hard to find in stubble fields and on road verges.
Sunday 12 May 2019
The leaves look glossy as they are hairless, except for along the margins. The internodes are hairless except for a single row of hairs.
I now have to visit Ballyteige Burrow to see if the hairless Cerastium fontanum there are the same subsp.
Tuesday 16 April 2019
Wednesday 13 February 2019
Sunday 13 January 2019
Map showing average number of species per monad within each hectad to the of 2018
By the end of 2018 all but one monad had species recorded in Co. Wexford.
There are 2558 monads in the county.
The aim when I started recording for the Flora of Co. Wexford in 2008, was to record one monad from each Tetrad across the county. Paula O’Meara started recording in 2010. A couple years later I decided to aim to visit every monad, something I didn’t really think possible by the end of 2019. Not sure when it was decided to aim for a minimum of 100 species per monad.
S8251 is the only monad with no records.
There are 404,870 individual monad species records across the county.
The average number of species for a monad across the county is 158.
153 monads have under 100 species recorded. The majority are part monads around the county margin, where the neighbouring county has the largest area of land, or most of the monad is in the sea. There is one monad that has only Zostera marina (Eelgrass), even at low tide there is no land above sea-level. Another monad has only a sandy beach as land, the one species being found is Atriplex laciniata (Frosted Orache).
Two whole monads only have 1 species recorded, hopefully they will be visited in the next couple of weeks. Access can be a big problem, this is usually the reason why some whole monads have less than 100 species recorded. Other whole monads just don’t have a very good variety of habitats. For example one monad was all arable, and weed killer had been used along every field bank, only the toughest of species surviving.
Looking forward to seeing how 2019 turns out, and how many more monads can top 100 species.