2021 County Report for Offaly

Fiona Devery

2021 Report for H18, Co. Offaly Fiona Devery

It was decided to focus on aquatic habitats in Offaly in 2021 with an emphasis on recording Chara species. The season started with a visit to Tobar na bPearla, the Well of the Pearls, near Birr, once an area of esker near the Silver River now a disused sandpit with a pond which yielded Tolypella glomerata and Chara aculeolata. 

Several trips to the Grand Canal followed including to Macartney’s Aqueduct which produced C. contraria and C.hispida.

The canal at Gallen, Ferbane is a very special site with Parnassia palustris, Grass of Parnassus, Selagenella selagenoides, Lesser Clubmoss and Gentienella amarella, Autumn Gentian, all of which were re-recorded but the best find of the day was a new population of Nitella tennuissema, greatly extending its distribution across H18.

A visit to Victoria Lock and then  onto the new walkway across the River Shannon at Meelick on the Galway border produced Potamogeton × angustifolius, Long-leaved Pondweed, a new County Record, with Sium latifoliaum, Greater Water-parsnip and Butomus umbellatus, Flowering Rush.

A final visit to L. Finnamores on a Chara expedition yielded C. aculeolata, C. rudis, C. curta, C. virgata, C. contraria and over a thousand plants of Gentianella amarella, Autumn Gentian. 

With special thanks to Nick Stewart for his help in determining the Chara species and Potamogeton × angustifolius.