12 May 2015

Sausage Beard Lichen at Bynea: a lichen to my liking.

I went out yesterday afternoon near Berwick Roundabout, Bynea, Carmarthenshire, on the coastal flats just west of Loughor Bridge, to look for diurnal micro-moths but I only found one common species. As so often happens in natural history, other things turned up as compensation, with several singing Cetti`s warblers in the wet carr and wetlands and the loud rattling song of a lesser whitethroat, successfully competing with the roar of passing traffic, at the edge of the adjacent A484.
Best of all, though, was chancing upon a clump of Usnea articulata, the so-called `sausage beard lichen`. The single clump that I initially saw may well be the surprise find made by Simeon Jones a couple of years back at the same, or nearby, site but later, I noticed (I was n`t specially looking for it) a hawthorn that had multiple clumps of this BAP and Section 42 lichen. It is quite distinctive and easy to identify - hence my title.
Rather than waste time writing about it, I suggest that you google for an excellent article by Sam Bosanquet - Usnea articulata in Wales: a rare species on the move. By googling the title, you will be able to read both Sam`s article (with better photos than mine!) and also see, on the same page, a link to the `Lichens of Wales` website.

                                                Above: the single individual clump.
                                        Above: a hawthorn with  multiple clumps.

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