22 September 2013

Oxwich beach

Front: Prickly Saltwort and Babington's Orache
Middle: Sea Radish and Babington's Orache
Back: Curled Dock & Sand Couch
In the western half of Oxwich Bay there is only the smallest area of obvious strandline vegetation at the very western end of the beach car park, between the slipway and the wall by the Oxwich Bay Hotel. However, even in this small patch there is a good assemblage of standline plants, most now producing an abundance of seed to increase the chances of survival in this highly dynamic environment.
Left to right: Seeds of Sea Rocket, Sea Radish, Babington's Orache,
Frosted Orache, more Babington's Orache and Curled Dock.
A striking and seemingly familiar bee was feeding on some Sea Rocket, but it wasn't until we saw lots of them all over the Ivy-covered walls in the village did it click that it was The Ivy Bee (Colletes hederae), its discovery, survey and distribution in Gower having been well documented by Ian Tew last year [see here], this being the 'place' where I'd seen it before.
The Ivy Bee on Sea Rocket
An unexpected bonus was a single rosette of Sea Stock (Matthiola sinuata) at the rear of the beach car park. This species is listed as 'Vulnerable' nationally and the closest plants I've seen are part of a small but well established population around the foredunes either side of Nicholaston Pill. Hopefully the species will become better established in the western half of the bay.
Sea Stock

1 comment:

Charles Hipkin said...

Nice to see Frosted Orache which is very local and variable in abundance from year to year. Strand line habitats are unique and vulnerable. We've lost a lot in recent decades and we stand to lose more if our bays are exploited.