2022 County Report for West Galway

John Conaghan

2022 was a relatively quiet year in West Galway on the recording front.  As part of general recording I recorded approximately 1200 plant records from seven sites visited throughout the year. Sites visited had a range of habitats present including montane cliff, woodland on limestone pavement and shingle shore. Interesting species recorded included Galium boreale (Northern Bedstraw), Rubia peregrina (Madder) and Oreopteris limbosperma (Lemon-scented Fern).  A range of recently arrived, non-native colonizers such as Sisyrinchium californicum (Yellow-eyed Grass), Mentha requienii (Corsican Mint) and Juncus planifolius (Broadleaved Rush) were also recorded from a number of new locations in the vice-county.

On the 23rd of July 2022 there was a Rough Crew outing to explore the higher slopes and base-rich outcrops on the north-western slopes of the Maumturk Mountains. Unfortunately, the day was among the wettest of the summer and the meeting was attended by seven hardy souls who got thoroughly wet within a couple of hours.  Despite the torrential weather conditions a good range of montane and bog species were seen including local favourites such as Daboecia cantabrica (St. Dabeoc’s Heath), Cystopteris fragilis (Brittle Bladder Fern), Saxifraga oppositifolia (Purple Saxifrage) and Pinguicula lusitanica (Pale Butterwort).

During the year I was informed of a site for the Near Threatened species Neotinea maculata (Dense-flowered Orchid) near Oughterard village.  Although the species has been recorded from the vice-county in the past there do not appear to be any post-1987 records. The site will be visited in 2023 for confirmation.