Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Stag's horn clubmoss - not much to look at, yet!

The target species was the grizzled skipper recorded in the Blaenserchan valley a couple of years back. As a spring emerging butterfly, with the weather suitable and best of all on my local patch all appeared in order for a recording result.

First up was a plentiful and very active population of the bee fly Bombylius major visiting the abundant track side flowering dandelion spp. Here too a speckled wood sunned itself. Where the valley opened out into all its post industrial glory the first green tiger beetle Cicindela campestris took a short flight before landing and running in characteristic fashion. Further coleoptera interest was provided by both adult and larval bloody-nosed beetle Timarche tenebricosa Six individuals were noted in total.  A cuckoo called to a background of a least two redstart, numerous tree pipit and a distant wood warbler

However,r none of the above comes close to the find of the day. Stags horn clubmoss Lycopodium clavatum is a scarce plant in vice county 35 with the Flora of Monmouthshire giving just a four or five records since 1970. I have seen this species recently as a healthy plant exists on the Blorenge which often reduces visiting botanists to a opened mouthed wonderment when in its fully erect coned glory. As for the grizzled skipper - nothing!

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