Members Reports and Photos
SATURDAY 29 March 2014
LEADER: MAURICE EAKIN
BOG AND LOUGH SHESK, CO MEATH
we set out there was much evidence of Prunus
laurocerasus (Cherry Laurel), which is believed to have been planted for
ornamental purposes in times past, but is now invasive, and requires remedial
action, though Birch, Oak and Holly and some Willow are growing back. We had the
opportunity along the way to catch sight of a snipe and a small flock of
goldfinch and hear the song of a goldcrest. However merlins (decreasing maybe
due to the loss of the conifers), newts, tadpoles, lizards (indoors perhaps due
to the overcast sky) were not detected.
following mosses were identified as we made our way to the raised bog:
Ceratodon purpureus in dense tufts;
Sphagnum cuspidatum abundant in pools and drains;
in dense tussocks, an alien species introduced in the 1960s from North America;
undulatum in loose tufts. This
is a woodland moss, which shows that the area was at one stage woodland which
will disappear as water rises;
hygrometrica is indicative of
burnt ground. Evidence of fire in the area from four years ago was extensive;
commune in tufts and Marchantia
ruderalis (a liverwort).
the raised bog we identified Calluna
tetralix (Cross-leaved Heath), Eriophorum
vaginatum (Bog Cotton),
polifolia (Bog Rosemary) in
early flower, Cladonia
(a lichen), Trichophorum
cespitosum (Deer Grass) and Rhynchospora
alba (White Beak-sedge).
following mosses were identified: Sphagnum
capillifolium, S. papillosum,
S. tenellum, S. magellanicum,
S. fuscum, Racomitrium lanuginosum, Leucobryum glaucum, S. subnitens,
Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus, R.
loreus, R. triquetrus.
and Cladonia cristatella
(a lichen) conspicuous with its bright red heads.
Shesk is an alkaline fen, an area waterlogged by calcareous water supply and
with small variation in water levels, even more rare in Ireland than raised
bogs. It is set in a post-glacial landscape, overtopped by a ridge not defined
well enough to be an esker but more of a kettle landscape.
we identified Sphagnum palustre, Aulacomnium palustre
(an invasive alien), S.
contortum, Campylium stellatum
which is usually found where thereís calcareous water and Climacium
dendroides. We found to our delight an abundance of Pyrola rotundifolia (Round-leaved Wintergreen) in early leaf. Also
in abundance was Succisa pratensis
(Devilís-bit Scabious) but no evidence of Marsh Fritillary caterpillars. Cladium
(Saw-sedge), Phragmites australis
(Common Reed), Hydrocotyle vulgaris
(Marsh Pennywort) were also evident.
Lenihan, on behalf of DNFC, thanked Maurice Eakin for his very enthusiastic and
most informative talks throughout the day.
Sphargnum austinii & capilllifolium S. subnitens Dicranum scoparium
S. papillosum Andromeda polifolia S. fuscum
Campylopus introflexum Marchantia polymorpha ruderalis Cladonia portentosa
Eriophorum vaginatum E. vaginatum Blocked drain
Old oaktree Embryonic Board Walk Birch Woodland
Prunus laurocerasus P. laurocerasus
Bog Road Lough Shesk
© P Lenihan
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