Summer meeting 1970: Sligo

HomeEventsSummer meeting 1970: Sligo

2 September 1970 - 16 September 1970

Meeting report

The summer meeting was held in Sligo from 2 to 16 September. The number attending averaged about six at any one time. This was disappointingly small but we were glad to welcome Dr and Frau E. Hegewald from Dortmund.

3 September. The first excursion was to Knocknarea, a hill to the west of Sligo (v.-c. H. 28). Approaching from the northeast side, the party struggled through rocky Corylus scrub to open heathy ground. Here J.A. found Dicranum bonjeanii* and Tritomaria exsectiformis was seen among Calluna. On limestone outcrops near the top of the hill Marchesinia mackaii, Scapania aequiloba, Gymnostomum calcareum and Orthothecium intricatum were noted. The descent was made by way of a forestry road where J.A. recorded Dicranella schreberana*. A short visit was then made to the sand-dunes at Strandhill where Dichodontium pellucidum var. fagimontanum, Entodon concinnus and Thuidium abietinum were seen.

On 4 September it was decided to take a look at the northern end of the Ox Mountains. Loch Minnaun was reached by way of boggy moorland and the steep acid outcrops of Knockalongy, above the lake, were worked. Although bryologically the area was distinctly dull, three new records were made for v.-c. H. 28. D.M.S. found Riccardia multifida* and a small amount of Anthelia julacea* and Diphyscium foliosum* was collected by J.A.

5 September. As the weather looked fairly promising we went to Gleniff (v.-c, H. 28). This corrie, which is not marked on the ½ in. O.S. map, lies south of Clogh about 3 miles east of Benbulbin. It is famous for the many rarities found on its limestone ledges and cliffs, notably Barbula reflexa var. robusta, Gymnostomum recurvirostrum var. insigne, Seligeria oelandica, Dicranella grevilleana and, among short turf on the lower slopes, Timmia norvegica. All these species were seen, also Amblyodon dealbatus, Seligeria trifaria, Orthothecium rufescens, O. intricatum and Amblystegiella sprucei. E.H. recorded Seligeria recurvata* from the limestone cliffs and J.A. found Dicranella rufescens* on mud by the waterfall.

6 September. The morning looked like being wet so it was decided to keep to low sheltered ground and Slish Wood, on the southern side of Lough Gill (v.-c. H. 28) was chosen. Although the bryophytes here were quite luxurious the species seen were disappointingly commonplace. Porella pinnata was plentiful on lakeside boulders and Hypnum lindbergii was seen on the forestry track. After lunch work had to be abandoned because of heavy rain.

7 September was spent in Glenade (v.-c. H. 29), mostly among the fantastic pillars and crags of Peakadaw. Although the only new record was of Fossombronia pusilla*, found by J.A. on a bank by the track below Peakadaw, many interesting species were seen, including Adelanthus decipiens, Bazzania tricrenata, Cololejeunea calcarea, Riccardia palmata, Herberta adunca, Seligeria pusilla, S. recurvata, S. trifaria, Gymnostomum recurvirostrum var. insigne, Mnium orthorhynchum and Trichostomum crispulum var. elatum. Thuidium delicatulum was noted on the way down and Splachnum ampullaceum was seen by a ditch. On the return journey along the track through Glenade an old quarry was visited, the floor of which was carpeted with Barbula reflexa, some of which bore fruit. A short stop was made at Glencar Waterfall on the way back but conditions were too wet to bryologize profitably.

On 8 September a visit was made to the north-facing limestone rocks and cliffs of calcareous shale at Aghadunvane, south-west of Lough Melvin (v.-c. H. 29). The approach was made by way of boggy fields, where Mnium seligeri was seen, and a wooded ravine in which Nowellia curvifolia was found on a rotten log. At first glance the area appeared unpromising but perseverance and some scrambling rewarded us with Barbula reflexa var. robusta (in small quantity and of poor quality), Gymnostomum recurvirostrum var. insigne and Seligeria oelandica. It was noted that although there was an abundance of young fruit on the Seligeria, mature capsules were very rare whereas in Gleniff they were plentiful. Other interesting species seen were Riccardia palmata, Herberta adunca, Dicranella grevilleana, Orthothecium rufescens and O. intricatum. On the way back to Sligo J.A. et al. made a detour through the Glenaniff valley where Tortula ruralis* was recorded from the roof of one of the many derelict dwellings seen en route. On a track south of Kinlough J.A. found Phascum cuspidatum*.

9 September. The morning being very wet and windy it was mainly passed in driving to Lough Carra (v.-c. H. 26). On the way Cinclidotus fontinaloides was seen growing luxuriously on an asbestos roof ! The first stop was at Keel Bridge, 3 miles north of Ballinrobe. Here, in trying conditions of wind and rain, the party bryologized until lunch time. The principal feature of this area was the abundance of Tortella densa growing on limestone pavement. D.M.S. found Pellia endiviifolia* in a wet depression. Scorpidium scorpioides was abundant in flushed ground and J.A. recorded Dicranella schreberana* , Barbula revoluta* and Brachythecium glareosum* from the side of a track. After lunch the weather improved and a move was made to the shore of L. Carra, near Partry House. Here Riccia sorocarpa* was plentiful, mixed with a little R. beyrichiana and J.A. recorded Phascum cuspidatum* and Pohlia wahlenbergii* We then went north to explore the peninsula north-east of Partry. In wet fields on the way to the lough Acrocladium giganteum and Mnium seligeri were seen, but Corylus scrub and dry limestone near the shore did not yield anything of interest. In the evening Mr and Mrs Perry joined the party.

10 September was spent on the coast between Pollyarry and Bundoran. This was a wise decision as inland the hills were misty and windswept all day but near the sea we enjoyed continuous sunshine. The first stop, on the Pollyarry cliffs, was bryologically dull so the party soon moved on to the sand-dunes behind Bunduff Strand, south of Muilaghmore (v.c. H. 28). Here Barbula reflexa, Campylopus introflexus, Distichium inclinatum, Entodon concinnus, Lophozia excisa and Scapania compacta were seen. J.A. found Bryum donianum* on a wall by the road. The cliffs west of Tullaghan (v.-c. H. 29) were the next stop. Grimmia maritima and Ptychomitrium polyphyllum grew on stone walls, Pottia heimii* was found by J.A. on a bank, and boggy ground provided a few more species for the record card, notably Campylopus introflexus which was present over a wide area and spreading rapidly, following the course of water seepage. On a bridge at Largydonnell, E.H. found Grimmia trichophylla*. That evening Mrs Paton arrived.

On 11 September members met at Lough Key but the weather having improved, it was decided to explore the Bricklieve Mountains (v.-c. H. 28), known locally as Carrowkeel. This change of plan caused rather a late start and in addition some confusion arose from the non-existence of a small lake marked on the map. The party worked northwards along the west ridge where J.A.P. recorded Sphenolobus minutus* from peaty ground among rocks. We then descended into the west valley where Calypogeia sphagnicola* was recorded from a bog by J.A.P. who also found Lepidozia sylvatica* on a peaty slope. J.A. recorded Mnium rugicum* from marshy ground and J.A.P. made the interesting find of Metzgeria fruticulosa in a wet thicket. Other species seen included Lepidozia pinnata, Marchesinia mackaii, Tritomaria exsectiformis, Cephaloziella hampeana and Dicranum scottianum. On the return journey some members stopped at an old quarry near Derry, on Lough Arrow, where J.A.P. found Petalophyllum ralfsii*. Unfortunately Mr Synnott had to leave that evening.

On 12 September further ground in the Benbulbin area (v.-c. H. 28) was chosen for exploration, namely, the corrie to the north-east. Most members saw Polytrichum aurantiacum* on the boggy moorland leading to the corrie. The terrain was very like that of Gleniff and all the rarities of Gleniff were found. In addition J.A.P. collected Plectocolea subelliptica* from a bit of sandy limestone. In the afternoon we climbed to the summit plateau and walked over moorland and peat hags to King’s Mountain. On the way, Splachnum ovatum and Tetraplodon mnioides were seen; J.A.P. recorded Lepidozia pearsonii* and Scapania scandica* and J.A. added Cephaloziella starkii*. On the way back to Sligo some members visited woodland at Lissadell House, north of Drumcliff, where J.A.P. found Bryum rubens*.

On 13 September numbers were further depleted by the departure of Mr Wallace. Again the weather was poor so it was decided to go to the deciduous woodland around Templehouse Lake, south of Coolaney (v.c. H. 28). An abundance of Riccia glauca* was spotted by J.A.P. on the roadside verge where the cars were parked. Riccardia palmata, R. latifrons and Nowellia curvifolia were seen on rotting logs in the wood. In the afternoon a variety of habitats in the vicinity of the Owenaher River, south-west of Cloonacool, was worked. Pohlia bulbifera* was found by J.A.P. on the bank of the river and J.A. recorded Bryum alpinum var. viride* from boulders. Plectocolea subelliptica, Solenostoma triste, Sphagnum magellanicum, Splachnum ampullaceum, Fissidens osmundoides and Dicranum scottianum were some of the species seen in boggy ground and among rocks. Several people then went to a roadside quarry near Masshill. This visit proved very fruitful as J.A.P. recorded Fossombronia incurva*, Haplomitrium hookeri*, Lophozia bicrenata*, Plectocolea hyalina*, Riccia warnstorfii* and Dicranella crispa*. J.A. added Pellia neesiana*, Archidium alternifolium* and Pohlia rothii*. Fossombronia incurva was also seen by A.R.P. near Easky Lough, Ox Mountains.

On 14 September an excursion was made to the eastern border of Leitrim (v.-c. H. 29). The north-facing cliffs and hill slopes of Glenfarne, near Belcoo, were worked in the morning. Here J.A.P. found Pohlia annotina*, Calypogeia neesiana var. neesiana* and Cephalozia media* and E.H. found Tetraplodon mnioides*. Most members saw Dicranodontium asperulum* among boulders and Dicranum scottianum was frequent on rocks. J.A. recorded Bartramia pomiformis* from a dry rock face and Solenostoma sphaerocarpum* from boulders in a stream. By the stream, J.A.P. collected Atrichum crispum*. After lunch the party split up, some going to look at the summit plateau while others went south-east into Cavan (v.-c. H. 30), below Englishman’s House. Descending by way of some old workings, J.A. collected Dicranella rufescens* on the muddy slopes and J.A.P. found Cephalozia leucantha* and Tritomaria quinquedentata* among boulder scree, where Lepidozia pinnata and Bazzania tricrenata were also seen. In a flush below the crags, further records were made, namely, Pellia neesiana* and Drepanocladus exannulatus var. exannulatus* by J.A.P. and Mnium pseudopunctatum* and M. rugicum* by J.A.

On 15 September J.A.P. went to Gleniff but as everyone else had been there, they elected to investigate the eastern slopes of Benbo, south-west of Manorhamilton (v,-c, H, 29). Here E.H. recorded Nardia compressa* from boulders in a stream. Other species seen included Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica, Solenostoma pumila, Lepidozia pearsonii and Archidium alternifolium. In the afternoon a visit was paid to the slopes of Crockauns, south of Glencar Lake. The boggy ground and small streams of the lower ground were mostly acid. Here Blasia pusilla and Dicranella rufescens were seen and J.A. recorded Bryum bornholmense*. On and among the limestone higher up grew Orthothecium rufescens, Neckera crispa, Distichium inclinatum and Lejeunea patens. Dichodontium pellucidum var. flavescens was seen in a stream. J.A.P. recorded Fossombronia wondraczekii* from a small marsh north of Dromahair (v.-c, H, 29). At Cormac Keagh’s Hole (v,-c. H, 28), on the north side of Benbulbin J.A.P. also found Cephalozia leucantha* on a boggy slope and Bryum capillare var. elegans* (new to Ireland) on calcareous boulders.

Although given better weather more high ground would have been worked, with the resulting benefits of a greater number of alpine species, a valuable contribution was made to the mapping scheme as 20 cards were filled in, although some of the lists were short. Twenty-nine hepatic and 34 moss records were made. We would like to thank Mr Synott for his help and general support on the meeting.

J. Appleyard

List of contributors 1970

A. C. C. A. C. Crundwell
A. R. P. A. R. Perry
B. J. O. B. J. O’Shea
D. M. S. D. M. Synnott
E. H. E. Hegewald
E. R. B. L. E. R. B. Little
J. A. Mrs J. Appleyard
J. A. P. Mrs. J. A. Paton
J. G. D. J. G. Duckett
M. F. V. C. M. F. V. Corley
R. R. R. Richter