Another synanthrope enjoying the hot house climate was the moss Vesicularia vesicularis, which was growing and fruiting abundantly on the small balcony below the waterfall. There's very little information available on line about this species, but it is mentioned as occurring in greenhouses elsewhere.
09 November 2014
There were good numbers of Porcellionides pruinosus (Plum Woodlouse) wandering over the soil and stonework in the hot house at Plantasia today. Greg Jones informs me he's previously only recorded this synanthropic isopod twice in Glamorgan, on both occasions in manure heaps in allotments at Maudlam and at Llanharan. The only other occasion I recall seeing this species was in 1989 when Ian Morgan showed me large numbers of this quick moving woodlouse in the enormous mature heap located by the old farm house where I lived at Tir Morfa, Penclacwydd. Sadly the cows and hence the manure heap along with its associated fauna have long gone from the now abandoned buildings.
21 October 2014
Sent in to the university last week from Alan Martin of Fforest, presumably in Glamorgan, a photo of a Convolvulus Hawk resting on his step and unfortunately trodden on by a visitor to his house! Record dated 11th October, can't paste the picture in because I'm so computer illiterate. I have the original e mail to forward to the county moth recorder if he wants to see it.
14 October 2014
|view looking east over Llyn Fach with Craig y Llyn to the right|
Last week, on the 10th, Sam Bosanquet, George Tordoff and myself surveyed the mosses and liverworts on the section of Craig y Llyn above Llyn Fach, i.e. that part that lies within Neath Port Talbot at SN9003. Peaking at 600m in the plantation a little way south of the crags, this also happens to be the highest land in Glamorgan.
|Sam & George examining the highest terrestrial bryophytes in Glamorgan,|
the plentiful epiphytes on the spruce behind are of course higher!
A total of 135 bryophyte taxa were recorded taking the total for tetrad SN90B to 163, promoting it to the 4th spot in Glamorgan's bryo-diversity league, but with the caveat that many squares have still not yet been looked at! Three 'Nationally Scarce' species were recorded, Tall-clustered Thread-moss Bryum pallescens on the track adjacent to the trig point, Slender Fringe-moss Racomitrium sudeticum on a small stone enclosure, with Orange-bud Thread-moss Pohlia flexuosa on the crags themselves. The main discovery however, was a assemblage of locally rare species in a small cave on the lower cliff sequence, which included Fine-leaved Leskea Orthothecium intricatum, Spotty Featherwort Plagiochila punctata and Recurved Rock-bristle Seligeria recurvata, the latter new for the county.
A few non-bryophyte species of interest were noted including a larva of the sawfly Abia candens, found feeding on Devil’s-bit Scabious. George and myself, being comparative novices are indebted to Sam for his patience in sharing his expertise on what was a memorable excursion.
|the small cave in which Sam found Recurved Rock-bristle|
|Fountain Smoothcap Atrichum crispum|
The Great White Egret, according to the current (2009) edition of Collins Bird Guide, is a two star vagrant to the UK. This seems out of date: changes can be rapid with egrets. I have old bird guides which show the Little Egret's range coming nowhere near the UK, yet they are now a common sight on many estuaries, including, of course, the Burry Inlet. It seems the Great White Egret is moving into Britain in a similar way. It breeds on the Somerset Levels and keeps turning up here. My last two visits to WWT Llanelli have provided sightings of a Great White Egret. This morning it was something special: the bird was feeding vigorously and came very close to my position in the Michael Powell hide. Despite rain and low cloud, the views were so good that I was able to get the photos below.
A magnificent and very co-operative bird.
The bird was determined to be photographed, because when I moved on to the British Steel hide it followed me (Penclawdd in the background):
08 October 2014
Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria), Rheola Forest
It's been a bit of a weird autumn for fungi so far. After a wet August followed by a warm September, things were looking promising, but the long dry period then curtailed a sustained appearance of fruiting bodies. However, Fly Agarics were particularly good in Neath Valley forests and it was a fantastic month for Boletes, including the highly prized Cep (Boletus edulis). It was also a good month for Slimy Spike (Gomphidius glutinosus) and Larch Spike (Gomphidius maculatus) in Afan Forest Park. See below for a selection of others.
Beech Milkcap (Lactarius blennius), Glyncastle Forest