Members Reports and Photos
SUNDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2013
LEADERS: DECLAN DOOGUE
in the year there were reports of damage to the board walk at the south end of
the Portrane Burrow where building has occurred close to the shoreline.
This visit to the north end revealed a rather different story. The old sand
dunes on one side are leached and are heavily vegetated with Bracken. In between
these dunes and the sea and Rogerstown Estuary there is a complex and dynamic
system with both saltmarsh and newer dunes in various stages of development.
Vegetation undergoes abrupt changes in community in some areas, e.g. from Festuca
rubra dominated sward to salt marsh, with a metre or less.
of what is now saltmarsh was freshwater marsh a hundred years ago according to
the G.H. Pethybridge survey. Why has this happened? Is this a consequence
of the local extraction of groundwater for domestic consumption or are there
sand dune plants seen were Marram Ammophila arenaria, Lyme Grass Leymus
arenarius, Elytrigia juncea and Carex arenaria all of which
with their extensive root systems have varying degrees of capacity to bind sand
together. Sea Rocket Cakile maritima, Sea Sandwort Honckenya peploides
were plentiful. A small amount of Sea Holly Eryngium maritimum was
seen. The saltmarsh/halophile plants included the Sea Lavenders Limonium
binervis (upper part), L. humile (lower marsh), Sea Milk Glaux
maritima, Sea Arrowgrass Triglochin maritimum , Sea Plantain Plantago
maritima, Thrift Armeria maritima, Sea-purslane Atriplex
(halimione) portulacoides, Sea Aster Aster tripolium. Seablite Suaeda
maritima and Prickly Saltwort Salsola kali. Other plants on drier
parts included Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria, Knotted Pearlwort
Sagina nodosa. Cordgrass Spartina sp., an introduced species
in Ireland, was growing in some of the muddier areas
were scarce in Turvey due to the dry summer but a few Arion specimens were found
under boards. One plastic board revealed the long-legged ‘cellar’
spider Pholcus phalangioides familiar to some of us in the darker corner
of our houses and another spider a member of the Salticidae (Jumping spider) was
examined. Two small woodlice species were noted Trichoniscus pusillus
(‘common pygmy”?) and Metponorthus (Porcellionides) pruinosus. –
the former numerically one of the most common and the latter, described as a
coloniser of synantropic sites was found in a typical ‘farmyard’ habitat.
Arable weeds included Veronica persica, Lamium amplexicaule and the Knotgrasses Polygonum maculosa (Redshank) and Polygonum lapathifolium, and Black Bindweed Fallopia (Bilderykia) convolvuus. Small tortoiseshell butterflies were nectaring on Sedum spectabile and a single Wall Brown was found in an atypical bare substrate – a log – and one migrant Painted Lady was briefly glimpsed. Birch Shieldbugs Elasmosthetus interstinctus (adults and nymphs) appeared on cue on a birch tree.
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