Summer meeting 1951: Kerry

HomeEventsSummer meeting 1951: Kerry

2 September 1951 - 14 September 1951

Meeting report

The autumn meeting of the Society was held in Kerry in the Republic of Ireland from 2 to 14 September. The first week’s base was Glenbeigh, on the shores of Dingle Bay, and that for the second week Waterville, on Ballinskelligs Bay; both on the west coast.

The meeting was attended by twenty-nine members, of whom sixteen stayed on for the second week. With the exception of the day at Killarney (Torc Cascade and Derricunihy Wood V.C. H. 2) all the gatherings were made in South Kerry V.C. H. 1.

In the following reports:

* An asterisk indicates a new vice-county record.
A cross indicates new to Ireland.

2 September. The first day’s excursions, in good weather, were short and within walking distance of Glenbeigh. In the morning Cummergorm Glen, a steep-sided glen facing towards the sea, was visited with the following results, Lophozia silvicola,+ and also: Riccardia latifrons, Eucalyx hyalinus, Cephalozia francisci, Nowellia curvifolia (damp humus), Madotheca porella, Odontoschisma denudatum, Adelanthus decipiens and Dicranum fuscescens.*

The afternoon was spent examining the walls and verges of the road to Ross Behy, where the first major finds were made: Riccia warnstorfii+ and Fissidens algarvicus+ (with a few old capsules); others were: Riccia glauca, R. sorocorpa, Cephaloziella hampeana,* Anthoceros laevis, Ditrichum cylindricum,* Pseudephemerum nitidum, Acaulon muticum, Pohlia rothii* and P. annotina.*

3 September . A full-day trip was made to Blackstones Bridge at the head of Caragh Lough, where the oakwoods, outcrops and boulders were carefully examined. The weather proved somewhat damp. Some of the expected rarities of Kerry were found here, among them: Lepidozia silvatica,+ Riccia warnstorfii, Metzgeria conjugata, Fossombronia dumortieri,* Plagiochila asplenioides var. major,* Lophocolea fragrans, Harpanthus scutatus, Adelanthus decipiens, Telaranea nematodes, Colura calyptrifolia, Cololejeunea microscopica, C. minutissima, Lejeunea flava, Frullania germana (on hazel and walls), Fissidens curnowii, Archidium alternifolium, Dicranodontium denudatum,, Rhacomitrium canescens,* Zygodon conoideus,, Eurhynchium praelongum var. stokesii,* Sematophyllum demissum and S. novae-caesareae.

4 September. The day’s journey was to Coomasaharn Lake and its surroundings, lying in one of the corries of Teemoyle Mountain, some six miles south-west of Glenbeigh. Coomasaharn itself lies at the foot of steep rocky slopes rising to over 2000 ft. The rain increased in the afternoon and the majority of the party gave up shortly after lunch, leaving the hardier spirits to explore Lough Cullen, a small lake in a subsidiary corrie above Coomasaharn. Just prior to this Bartramidula wilsoni,, was found below Lough Cullen. Other finds were: Preissia quadrata, Marsupella aquatica,* Anastrepta orcadensis, Plagiochila tridenticulata, Harpanthus scutatus, Nowellia curvifolia, Bazzania pearsoni,* Lepidozia pearsoni, Mastigophora woodsii, Scapania ornithopodioides, Radula aquilegia, Cololejeunea microscopica, Lejeunea diversiloba, Fissidens curnowii, Rhabdoweissia crenulata,*, Campylopus setifolius, C. schwarzii, Barbula ferruginascens, Gymnostomum aeruginosum, Leptodontium flexifolium,* Grimmia torquata, Pohlia elongata, Breutelia chrysocoma (one plant in fruit), Neckera crispa, Orthothecium intricatum and Sematophyllum novae-caesareae.

The remainder of the afternoon and evening was spent in an attempt to get dry.

5 September. The day being dry if dull, members were still drying out, and the morning was spent in individual gathering round Glenbeigh, where Sphagnum fimbriatum* and Fossombronia wondraczeki* were found, also Colura calyptrifolia, Cololejeunea minutissima on gorse stems, Bryum argenteum var. lanatum on a wall near the hotel, and Dicranella schreberiana, Pohlia delicatula,* Mnium cuspidatum* and Drepanocladus aduncus.*

In the afternoon the lower part of Lough Caragh was visited; this large lake, some 2 miles long, is east of Glenbeigh and 2 miles from the sea. The area visited was a steep wooded slope leading down to the lake edge. The most interesting discovery here was Daltonia splachnoides, others included: Fossombronia wondraczeki, Lophocolea fragrans, Adelanthus decipiens, Radula aquilegia, Cololejeunea minutissima, Jubula hutchinsiae, Frullania microphylla, Fissidens curnowii, Grimmia retracta, Ulota americana, Drepanocladus uncinatus, Sematophyllum demissum and S. novae-caesareae. Tortula laevipila* and Physcomitrium pyriforme* were found on the way to Lough Caragh.

6 September. The weather changed for the better and was bright and sunny, which as it had been decided to go to Killarney, was just as well. Under the guidance of Prof. Richards the classical grounds of Torc Cascade (in the morning) and Derricunihy Wood were visited. At Torc Cascade a determined search was made for Cyclodictyon laetevirens without success, it was however found by Dr Jones on a visit immediately after the meeting. Eremonotus myriocarpus+ was found, and the following were seen: Torc – Dumortiera hirsuta, Eucalyx obovatus. Plagiochila asplenioides var. major,* P. tridenticulata, Leptoscyphus cuneifolius, Lophocolea fragrans, Harpanthus scutatus, Telaranea nematodes, Blepharostoma trichophylla, Colura calyptrifolia (on rocks), Cololejeunea microscopica, Lejeunea holtii, L. diversiloba, Marchesinia mackaii, c.per., Jubula hutchinsiae, Frullania microphylla, Fissidens viridulus,* F. pusillus, Zygodon conoideus,, and Hygrohypnum eugyrium. Derricunihy – Lophozia quinquedentata* (on top of boulders by lake), Sphenolobus minutus, c.per., S. exsectus,* Harpanthus scutatus, Cephalozia hibernica, Cephaloziella hampeana,* Lepidozia pearsoni, Telaranea nematodes, Radula aquilegia, R. voluta, Colura calyptrifolia, Lejeunea flava, Dicranodontium denudatum, Campylopus setifolius, Barbula hornschuchiana, Pohlia rothii,* Zygodon viridissimus var. vulgaris and Daltonia splachnoides.

7 September. The weather still proved kind, and the day was spent in the neighbourhood of Coomnagraussan and Coomeeneragh lakes, lying in a corrie to the east of Coomasaharn. The party split up, some remaining near Coomnagraussan, the lower lake, and the remainder going on to Coomeeneragh. Here a few members scaled the steep side of the corrie and then divided to return along both edges of the corrie. Bartramidula wilsoni,, was found again on burnt-over peat, a similar habitat to the Coomasaharn station. The best find here was Isopterygium muellerianum.+ Others included: Marsupella aquatica, Aplozia cordifolia, Lophozia incisa (2000 ft.), Nowellia curvifolia (rocks at 2000 ft.), Calypogeia fissa,* Mastigophora woodsii, Colura calyptrifolia, Cololejeunea minutissima, Sphagnum tenellum, Dichodontium pellucidum var. flavescens, Campylopus schwarzii, Trichostomum tenuirostre,, Rhacomitrium lanuginosum,, Tetraphis browniana,* Mnium longirostrum,* Campylostelium saxicola, Cratoneuron commutatum,* Hygrohypnum ochraceum, H. eugyrium, Acrocladium sarmentosum and Hylocomium umbratum.*

Pottia intermedia* was found near Glenbeigh. In the evening, as this was the last day at Glenbeigh and some members were leaving, all foregathered at ‘The Hotel’, Glenbeigh, where Prof. Richards in a short talk made some announcements.

8 September was taken up in the move from Glenbeigh to Waterville; some members who were not leaving until the afternoon, did a bit more exploration round Glenbeigh and found Tortula subulata* and Orthotrichum anomalum var. saxatile.* A small party reached Waterville at lunch time and proceeded to spy out the land, finding Fossombronia angulosa in abundance on a clay bank at the shore and Frullania microphylla on rocks.

9 September was devoted to two short trips returning to the hotels for lunch. Lough Currane, a large low-lying lake just behind Waterville was visited first and yielded: Metzgeria furcata var. ulvula,* Pellia neesiana, Lophozia ventricosa, Sphenolobus exsectus,* Cephalozia leucantha,* Telaranea nematodes, Radula complanata, Frullania microphylla (rocks), Anthoceros punctatus, Ditrichum cylindricum, Campylopus setifolius, C. brevipilus and Sematophyllum novae-caesareae.

In the afternoon a waterfall on the Finglas River, south of Waterville, was worked, where the first find was Campylopus shawii,* in abundance on the flat marshy ground beside Lough Dreenaun growing with Thuidium delicatulum, further finds at the waterfall were: Pellia neesiana (on lake flats), Fossombronia dumortieri (on lake flats), Lophozia attenuata, Cephalozia leucantha, Harpanthus scutatus, Sphenolobus minutus, c.per., Adelanthus decipiens, Lepidozia pearsoni, Colura calyptrifolia, c.per., Cololejeunea microscopica, Fissidens curnowii, Campylopus setifolius, C. introflexus, Grimmia decipiens var, robusta, Ephemerum serratum* and Pohlia bulbifera.*

10 September. The weather was dry but very misty to a fairly low level. The site for the day’s exploration was the coast line between Lamb’s Head and Hog’s Head south of Waterville, through Darrynane and along the shore and sand dunes at Abbey Island. On the way Campylopus atrovirens var. falcatus+ and Glyphomitrium daviesii were found on a steep rocky face at 650 ft. on the Coomakista Pass. The day’s finds were numerous, the best being Ephemerum stellatum.* Others included: Riccia beyrichiana,* Pellia neesiana, Telaranea nematodes, Radula lindbergiana,* Madotheca thuja, Marchesinia mackaii, Frullania microphylla, Ditrichum cylindricum, Dicranella varia (on walls), Campylopus introflexus, Tortula ruralis,* T. papillosa,* Aloina aloides (on walls), Pottia recta* (on walls), Phascum cuspidatum, Barbula hornschuchiana* (on walls), B. reflexa, Trichostomum sinuosum,* Grimmia subsquarrosa,* G. decipiens var. robusta, Zygodon conoideus, Hedwigia integrifolia and Entodon orthocarpus.

A decidedly basic wall top flora was observed at Darrynane in marked contrast to that seen at Glenbeigh.

11 September proved to be wet and rather stormy, the bulk of the party visited Hog’s Head, a small headland south of Waterville, where the following were found: Blasia pusilla, Fissidens viridulus,* Dicranella crispa,* Dicranum bonjeani, Campylopus introflexus, Acaulon muticum, Physcomitrium pyriforme and Ephemerum stellatum.

A small party visited Derriana Lough in the corries north-east of Waterville and found Campylopus shawii, again in company with Thuidium delicatulum, on marshy ground near the lake, and also Colura calyptrifolia and Lejeunea flava.

12 September. It was decided to visit the site of two old copper mines on Goad Hill, south of Waterville; these proved to be small opencast workings on either side of the hill at about 800 ft. From there the party walked down to the shore near Caherdaniel and then back towards Waterville by West Cove. A determined search in the vicinity of the copper mines for peculiar Cephaloziellas was fruitless. The day’s finds included: Riccia beyrichiana, R. warnstorfii. Sphenolobus ovatus, Cephaloziella starkei, C. hampeana, Scapania compacta, Diphyscium foliosum, Fissidens algarvicus, Dicranoweissia cirrata,* Campylopus shawii, Pottia recta, Grimmia decipiens var, robusta, Pohlia delicatula, Campylium chrysophyllum* and Brachythecium mildeanum,*

A small party visited Staigue Fort, a well-preserved stone fort of the Iron Age, and found Fossombronia caespitiformis* and Frullania fragilifolia.

13 September. A visit was made to the corries round Cloonaghlin Lough and Lough Coomeathcun in the mountains north-east of Waterville. The two lakes lie at the foot of steep precipitous slopes with a waterfall entering Lough Coomeathcun at the farthest end over the lip of the corrie. Most of the party proceeded to this point exploring the waterfall and the tumbled boulders at the edge of the lake. It was here that Dr Warburg found Trichomanes radicans, the famous Killarney Bristle Fern; the major find among the bryophytes was Cyclodictyon laetevirens. The rest included: Riccardia latifrons, Metzgeria hamata, Plagiochila asplenioides, c.per., P. spinulosa,, Harpanthus scutatus, Nowellia curvifolia (among Sphagna), Adelanthus decipiens, Lepidozia pearsoni, Telaranea nematodes, Radula carringtoni, R. holtii, Colura calyptrifolia, Lejeunea flava, L. diversiloba, Marchesinia mackaii, Jubula hutchinsiae, Campylopus shawii, C. introflexus, Gymnostomum aeruginosum, Grimmia patens, Rhacomitrium lanuginosum,, Campylostelium saxicola, Hedwigia integrifolia, Hygrohypnum eugyrium, Ctenidium molluscum var. fastigiatum,* Hylocomium umbratum, Sematophyllum demissum and S. novae-caesareae.

A few members stayed behind and visited Lough Currane, finding Lejeunea holtii, Cololejeunea microscopica and Frullania microphylla.

14 September was the last day of the meeting and started well but became showery later. Lough Currane was again visited, this time the eastern end, and gatherings included: Riccardia latifrons, Fossombronia caespitiformis, Sphenolobus exsectus, Lophocolea fragrans, Cephalozia leucantha, Blepharostoma trichophyllum, Telaranea nematodes, Cololejeunea microscopica, Lejeunea flava,, Marchesinia mackaii, Jubula hutchinsiae, Frullania germana, F. microphylla (on trees), F. fragilifolia, Campylopus shawii, Orthotrichum tenellum,* Ulota vittata, Daltonia splachnoides (abundant on willows and rocks in one place), Thuidium delicatulum and Cirriphyllum piliferum.

Generally speaking, for Ireland, and particularly the south-west, the weather was reasonably good. The most striking thing to a tyro from Northern Ireland was the comparative absence of Harpidioid Hypna which in similar habitats are abundant in the North; similarly, Dr Jones has commented on the rarity of Lophozias, L. quinquedentata, L. attenuata and particularly L. floerkii. There was, however, an abundance of Herberta hutchinsiae and Pleurozia purpurea, particularly at Cloonaghlin, growing in tufts up to 2 ft. across both pure and mixed.

R. D. Fitzgerald