This year’s field gentian hunt took place after a prolonged period of hot dry weather. Not surprisingly, limestone grassland at Loggerheads Country Park, our target site, was looking brown and crispy by mid-July and, not surprisingly, there was no sign of any gentians, field or otherwise.
As a consolation prize, we found lesser meadow-rue Thalictrum minus, which was the first record of this species on the Flintshire side since 1981. A pleasant surprise and proof that it is worth trying to re-find old records of notable plants.
Here’s the Thalictrum:
The under-recorded tetrads round Rhuddlan have been given a workout in the past three years! Here is the third in the series, the north-eastern tetrad, encompassing a retail park, some housing and adjacent fields and lanes. Quite ordinary countryside by Flintshire standards, but you never know what you might find, and there is always something to amuse the adventurous botanist. Continue reading
A select group for today’s Flintshire BSBI outing at New Brighton near Buckley, being just me and Tom. We usually have other botanists present to chivvy us on, but free to indulge our habit of genteel argument about plant identification, we began in the car park of the Beaufort Park Hotel (very good coffee, btw) and wandered the footpaths and lanes around the village for a day full of pleasantly slow paced botanical rambling. And heavy showers, unfortunately, so I didn’t take any pictures of the 218 species we recorded. A more than respectable total for two people on a wet day in what is quite an ordinary tetrad by Flintshire standards 🙂
Species group of the day was Prunus with blackthorn, wild cherry, plum and (probably) dwarf cherry all seen in the hedgerows. We also argued happily about roses, recording definite Rosa arvensis, cop-out Rosa canina agg., Rosa mollis and a possible Rosa caesia vosagiaca.
For the glory hunters, we scored a new 10k record for Polygonum aviculare s.s. and the Rosa vosagiaca would be a new 10k too, had we been completely confident about it.
Seven botanists gathered at Penyffordd to explore the footpaths and lanes around the village and fill in this under-recorded square with vascular plant records.
Annual wall-rocket Diplotaxis muralis, very common on walls around Flintshire
We recorded 199 species and plant group of the day was willowherbs, with a cornucopia of six common species and one new 10k record for Epilobium parviflorum x tetragonum. We also had a new 10k record for Rumex crispus x obtusifolius.
There were only three of us on this meeting. Perhaps the not-very-salubrious meeting place put people off: KFC car park in Rhuddlan. Said car park was a botanical record-breaker, though, with an amazing 81 species! The joke is that we always find more in the car park than anywhere else, but with ongoing construction disturbance, seeded grassland, scrubby bits and blocked drains we had an array of different habitats to investigate and it showed.
As well as the car park (!) we pottered around quiet lanes, villages, Pengwern college and parts of Bodelwyddan hospital and were pleased to score two new 10km records. I can’t imagine why fox-and-cubs and potato haven’t been recorded here before, aside from the fact that it’s an under-recorded area in general.
A more interesting record was corn parsley Petroselinum segetum, which we found opposite the entrance to the college and again on the edge of the hospital grounds. If confirmed, this might be a new county record for a species with a south-easterly distribution. The plants keyed out as corn parsley, but I’d like to go back this year and get a specimen for independent verification. I think umbellifers can be tricksy and I wouldn’t want to claim something unless I thought I could prove it!
Despite being a magnet for walkers, the hillfort at Penycloddiau in the Clwydian hills is in an under-recorded grid square. It lies on the boundary of Flintshire and Denbighshire vice-counties and we in Flintshire have only part of the tetrad.
We had another successful day out in Flintshire recording plants. This square is under-recorded, and doesn’t look very exciting on paper, but we found over 160 species between the four of us 😀