2022 County Report for West Mayo

Eoin Mc Greal

Over 4500 plant records from West Mayo were submitted in 2022 with most recording effort concentrated around lakeshores and the coastline. On 24thApril a BSBI field meeting was held on the Westport House Estate (L9884) and within this monad over 170 taxa, including 8 speedwell species, were recorded from a mix of woodland, grassland, freshwater and estuarine habitats. An aquatic training day overseen by Nick Stewart was held on the shores of Lough Conn on 14th August and the participants were treated to 9 different pondweeds (including 2 hybrids) together with local specialities such asSpiranthes romanzoffiana(Irish lady`s-tresses),Lysimachia nummularia(Creeping Jenny) andLycopus europaeus (Gipsywort). An unexpected treasure trove sent from Graham Day this year was a hefty series of plant files that the late John Harron had compiled within the VC between 1989 and 2016. This large volume of un-submitted records are largely from sites on the Mullet, the Owenmore River and around Lough Conn. They include records from many previously unrecorded sites and include first hectad sightings for regionally scarce species such asCarum verticillata(Whorled Caraway) (M09),Eleocharis acicularis(needle spike-rush) (F83),Carex riparia(Greater Pond sedge) (G13) andFestuca altissma(Wood Fescue) (G92). Slowly working through these meticulous records has been very much a salutary lesson as regards the importance of recording detailed site descriptions and any relevant additional information.

Valerianella carinata (Keel-fruited Cornsalad)

1st VC record found on 23rd April by Paul Green at Kilmaclasser Cemetery (M08).

Zannichellia palustris (Horned Pondweed)

1st hectad record found during BSBI field meeting in Carrowbeg River at Westport House Estate (L9884) on 23rd April.

Melica uniflora (Wood Melick)

1st hectad record found during BSBI field meeting at Garvillaun, Westport House Estate (L9884) on 23rd April.

Callitriche hermaphroditica (Autumn Water Starwort)

1st Hectad Record (G20).

Found during an aquatic training day led by Nick Stewart at Lough Conn on 14th August.

Phegopteris connectilis (Beech Fern)

John Conaghan recorded it at Lough Annafrin (F8602) on 7th June, a first record for the northern part of the county.

Epipactis palustris (Marsh Helleborine)

1st hectad record recorded by Hazel Doyle at Lough Conn (G23) on 28th July.

Subularia aquatica (Awlwort)

Subularia aquatica (Awlwort) has thus far only been recorded from within the Bundorragha catchment in H27 and on 15th July it a new site was found for it at Lough Cunnel (L87) at the very top of this system.