Friday, 31 March 2017

Raphanus sativus var. oleifera (Fodder Radish)

 Fodder Radish was sown in many fields across Wexford in 2016. This year I have started to find them as an escaped from the fields. This one was on a road verge today. Has a large white radish. The crop should have died during the winter, The hole left by the radish should of helped put air into the soil. As the winter was so mild, the radish never died. The bottom photo is of a radish field today, the radish escaped from.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Crocus x luteus (Yellow Crocus) new for Wexford

 I popped out today to check on some dead plants I saw last year which I thought was Garlic Mustard. As expected it was! The surprise was that Garlic Mustard is a new species to my home hectad (10-km square). While looking at the Garlic Mustard leaves I noticed a clump of Yellow Crocus. A new species for Co. Wexford. Not the most exciting find! Must of been dumped from a garden at some stage. Made it worth popping out on a wet day!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Geranium reuteri (Canary Herb-robert) new for Wexford

 Was surprised to see Geranium reuteri (Canary Herb-Robert) self-sown on a roadside wall today near Pollpeasty. This is a native of the Canaries. It has been a very mild winter in Wexford. G. reuteri seems to be hardy as I have had it growing in my garden for 10 years. G. reuteri is like a very large Geranium robertianum (Herb-Robert). I am surprised that two new species have been added to the county list so early in the year.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Taraxacum ronae - first new species for Co. Wexford in 2017

 Taraxacum ronae - the first new species to be added to Wexford in 2017. This is a native dandelion of the midlands of Ireland northward and the southwest of England. Wexford joins the gap nicely with Southwest England. Note the black spots on the leaves. The photos were taken at Knockroe a few miles NE of New Ross. Confirmed by John Richards the BSBI Dandelion Referee. As I found this site on 10th January I went and checked another site yesterday where I had seen dandelions with black spots on their leaves last year, but didn't try to ID at the time. As expected it was the same species. Both sites are on open road banks. Looked at another nearby road bank and there it was again. Flowering nicely at this time of year.

 Flower head about to open.

 Above: underside of flower. Below: whole plant.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Short report of recording Wexford during 2016

Above map shows all monads where 100+ species have been recorded since the year 2000.
The above chart:
Black columns – the average number of species recorded for all monads where 100+ species recorded in a single visit in each calendar month since the year 2000.
Red line – shows the number of days spent in each calendar month since the year 2000 where 100+ species recorded on a single visit. Very interesting to see that July has had so little recording compared to other summer months.

 I think you could say we got rather carried away with recording in 2016 as 127,364 records were collected. 48,000 more than any other year. All have been entered into MapMate and sent onto the BSBI DDb database.
Recording took place over the whole year. Records were received from 43 people besides me and my joint vice-county recorder Paula O’Meara. The majority sent in records for the flower of the month the Wexford Naturalists’ Field Club chose to record. This proved highly successfully and popular amongst club members. Many monads had gaps filled for spring species like Ficaria verna (Lesser Celandine) where Paula and I had recorded at a time of year when it wasn’t showing.

53 new species and hybrids were added to the county list, and if you include subspecies and varieties there were 86 new for Wexford. Of these, only 6 were native:

Alchemilla glabra (Smooth Lady's-mantle)
Atriplex glabriuscula (Babington's Orache) x Atriplex prostrata (Spear-leaved Orache)
Atriplex x hulmeana (Atriplex littoralis (Grass-leaved Orache) x Atriplex prostrata (Spear-leaved Orache)
Atriplex longipes (Long-stalked Orache) x Atriplex littoralis (Grass-leaved Orache)
Rumex x knafii (Rumex conglomeratus (Clustered Dock) x Rumex maritimus (Golden Dock)
Nitella opaca (a Stonewort)

Monday, 31 October 2016

Alchemilla glabra (Smooth Lady's-mantle) a new native species for Wexford

 Sometimes I think I'm sent little messages to tell me the plant is there! I saw this lovely grassy slope with gorse bushes and thought I must have a look for Alchemilla filicaulis subsp. vestita (Common Lady's mantle) as the habitat looked suitable, not that this Alchemilla has been recorded in the county for over 25 years or in this area of the county. After looking at the grassy slope I walked across a stubble field full of purple Wild Pansy. There in the stubble was one Alchemilla, just leaves. The adjoining pasture grazed by two horses had lots of Alchemilla. Decided it wasn't A. filicaulis as it looked too large. Took it must be Alchemilla xanthochlora (Intermediate Lady's-mantle) which was found new to the county last year. Once home and having a good look at it, I couldn't fine a hair anywhere on the plant, using various books they all took me to Alchemilla glabra (Smooth Lady's-mantle) a species that has never been recorded in Wexford before. The nearest site is over 40km away on the Kildare/Wicklow border. Returned today and collected more material to send the BSBI Referee. It was one stressful revisit, the two horses went crazy at the site of me and the Great Dane came and had a good bark. The field is large, but joins the farm house.

It was a great finish to the end of the recording season!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Silene noctiflora (Night-flowering Catchfly) first Co. Wexford record since 1992

 I was walking around a swede field today at Ballylusk and came across lots of Night-flowering Catchfly around the margin of two fields. This is only the 5th record for the county. First time I have seen this catchfly in over 20 years. Like other catchflies it is a rather sticky plant. There was also a scattering of Treacle Mustard, another rare weed in the county. A few Corn Marigolds and lots of Corn Mint.