Sunday, 27 December 2015

Thank you to everybody who contributed to recording in 2015 in Co. Wexford

With the year coming to a close I would like to take this chance to thank everybody who has contributed to recording in Wexford during the year. This has been our best year ever!
For once we have nearly kept up with the inputting of the records collected during 2015. This has been a phenomenal year for the county as to date just over 80,000 records have been entered into MapMate, that is 24,000 up on our best year, which was in 2014. Hopefully 2016 will see an increase in recording in the county, especially in the northern half which is lagging behind, there are still many tetrads with no records or less than 50 species recorded. In the southern half of the county all tetrads have had at least one monad visited, and in the SW corner of the county from New Ross south to the Hook and east ward across to Wellingtonbridge nearly every monad has been visited.  2015 also saw our best ever total of species recorded in a monad on a single visit, 270. This was at Blackwater T1234.

Of the list of 199 species not reported since 2000 in the county, 22 were re-found.  

52 new species were added to the county list, of these 10 were native, 35 were garden escapes or dumped from gardens and surviving, and the other 7 are rare casuals. Of the 10 new native species 8 are hybrids.

August had the largest number of records collected for a month, 14,699, followed by October with 12,145. All months apart from December saw over 1000 records collected.

The map below shows all the monads (black squares) with records.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Alchemilla xanthochlora (Intermediate Lady's-mantle) new native for Co. Wexford

 Margaret Bradshaw the BSBI Referee for Alchemilla has confirmed the specimen of Alchemilla xanthochlora I sent her from a road side at Ballymaclare, 6km south of New Ross. This is a new native species for Wexford, the nearest site in Ireland is c. 80km away. Almost went unnoticed as I put down Alchemilla mollis (Garden Lady's-mantle) on my recording card at the first patch I saw, still didn't cross my mind it wasn't A. mollis when I walked past the second population along the road verge. It wasn't until I was having a cuppa in the car that I thought to myself there is a lot of Lady's-mantle for a garden escape. Took another look, realising the leaves were more or less hairless, I knew it couldn't be A. mollis as that has very hairy leaves.
 Below, one of the verges the Alchemilla xanthochlora (Intermediate Lady's-mantle) was growing along.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Viola tricolor subsp. tricolor (Wild Pansy) at Curracloe

 Came across a stubble field blue with Wild Pansy, never seen so much before. Very good year for weedy stubble fields

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Cotoneaster splendens (Showy Cotoneaster) new species for county

 Cotoneasters are one of the few non-native species that I normally look the other way when I see them as I find them almost impossible to ID. Showy Cotoneaster is the first record for Wexford and is also new for Ireland. Sent a pressed specimen to J. Fryer the BSBI Cotoneaster Referee to see what it was. The reply said most likely C. splendens, but need more mature fruits and photos to show correct colour of fruit. It was a 8km round trip to collect a 2nd specimen as it grows at the very end of The Raven. There are two bushes, most likely bird sown.
 Showing whole bush
The two bushes are on the slope below the trees

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Misopates orontium (Weasel's-snout) a very rare species in Wexford

Paula O'Meara found Weasel's-snout at Dunganstown on 27th Oct, just one in stubble field. This is the first record for this part of the county. This is the first county record since 2002 as a weed of a stubble field. The only other extant site is as a weed in a veg plot.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Chara connivens first Wexford since 1897

I have never even bothered to look at stoneworts before. Found this Chara connivens in pools in a disused quarry near Bridgetown. Sent it to the BSBI referees Claudia Ferguson-smyth and Nick Stuart. What a start! A 2nd county record and first since 1897 when it was found on North Slob by Rev. Marshall. There has been no records in Ireland since 1960.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Gunnera manicata & G. tinctoria

Above: G, manicata. Taken today on Forth Mountain, there were 3 clumps, one large and two small, this is the first time I have seen Gunnera reproducing in the county. The flowers spikes are very large and lay flat on the ground.
Below: G. tinctoria. Also on Forth Moutnain, very surprised as this was also reproducing. Does seem strange to come across both on the same day, especially as both were along the same road. The flower spikes stand upright. 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Sarcocornia perennis (Perennial Glasswort)

Patches of Sarcocornia perennis (Perennial Glasswort) submerged and  Limonium humile (Lax-flowered Sea-lavender) with heads above water.
Went Sarcocornia perennis (Perennial Glasswort) hunting with Ciaran Byrne today at Ballyteige where there were records from the 1990s. Recorded it from 5 monads. Very little was flowering, the largest population was in the pool shown above.

It was a very good day, Spiranthes spiralis (Autumn Lady's-tresses) were still flowering.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Chenopodium glaucum (Oak-leaved Goosefoot) new for Wexford

Paula O'Meara found Oak-leaved Goosefoot at Stokestown Port which is a new species for the county. Just the one plant. The leaves look like oak leaves, at least some do.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Salicornia x marshallii

Salicornia x marshallii is a hybrid between Salicornia disarticulata (pusilla) (One-flowered Glasswort) and Salicornia ramosissima (Purple Glasswort). The hybrid has some flowers single and others in groups of two or three. S. disarticulata has only one flower and S. ramosissima in groups of three. There was just one plant of the hybrid growing very close to both parents. This would seem to be the first record for Ireland.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Atriplex longipes from the River Barrow

Note the long stalks to the bracteoles, only native species of Atriplex in Ireland to have the long stalks.. This native rare plant can be found along the banks of the River Barrow. Found at the very top of the high tide line or amongst reeds and other tall vegetation along the river.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Phalaris minor (Lesser Canary-grass)

 Lesser Canary-grass has started to turn up in arable fields this year across the county. Paula O'Meara found it in one field last year, now there are records from the far south and very north of the county. The only previous record was made by Andy Doyle at Kilrane in 1998.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Large Bindweed with pink stripes

 An unusual form of Large Bindweed with pink stripes on the outside of the corolla. Several large stands in roadside hedge north of New Ross

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Bird's-nest Orchid refound for Wexford

 Bird's-nest Orchid has only ever been reported from Courtown, with the last sighting made in 1943. It was great to find one in the woods at Newtownbarry House, Bunclody. Had a BioBlitz with the Wexford Naturalists' Field Club. 265 species of plant were recorded, nearly all from the same monad.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Vicia sepium var. ochroleuca

 This is the 2nd record for Vicia sepium var. ochroleuca in Wexford. Found by Mary Foley at Mangan

Friday, 29 May 2015

Bromus commutatus (Meadow Brome) 4th record for Wexford

Meadow Brome was found in plenty in a small field on The Hook. Only the 4th record for the county. Here it was growing with Gaudinia fragilis (French Oat-grass) and Pale Flax

Monday, 25 May 2015

Great day recording in the Blackstair Mts today

 Had a great day recording in the Blackstair Mts today with Ciaran Byrne & Paula O'Meara. Adder's-tongue (above) was new for the hectad.
 Wood Horsetail was looking wonderful
 The aim of the walk was to re-find Bog Myrtle for the county. Last reported by Ro FitzGerald in 1992. This is the only site in the county. Above - Ciaran amongst Bog Myrtle
 Large patch of Bog Myrtle
A male & female bush

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Ranunculus parviflorus (Small-flowered Buttercup)

 Went for a walk from my house today and found Small-flowered Buttercup in two locations. The photos were taken on a gravel of  drive. S.F. Buttercup has its Irish headquarters in Wexford.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Trifolium occidentale (Western Clover) on sea cliffs at Bannow

Paula O'Meara and I went to a monad with no records to see if we could find Western Clover, which we did in several places. There were scattered Bee Orchids and we updated Avenula pubescens (Downy Oat-grass) which was lasted reported from the hectad in 1992.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Hare's-tail and white Common Vetch on dunes at Rosslare Harbour

 The Hare's-tail grass was looking stunning today on the dunes at Rosslare Harbour today.
There were many plants of Common Vetch with white flowers on the dunes