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July-Aug 2011

. . .


This was our fourth year visiting Poppit Sands for our family holiday - near Cardigan in West Wales. We stayed in a self-catering flat attached to the Webley Hotel overlooking the Teifi Estuary.

View of the estuary from our flat window with the regular gathering of Canada Geese

Dunlin and Ringed Plover were rare visitors to the shore in front of the Webley

Here is a full list of birds recorded from our flat overlooking the estuary in the four years





TEIFI ESTUARY - Max counts





Grey Heron




Mute Swan




Canada Goose




Barnacle Goose



Greylag Goose








Black-headed Gull




Herring Gull




Lesser Black-backed Gull




Great Black-backed Gull




Sandwich Tern


Common Tern










Ringed Plover




Buzzard - soaring





Small Copper


Painted Lady


Speckled Wood


Red Admiral


Common Blue



I think I got most of the grasses, but one was a puzzle - what looked like a Bent-grass (Agrostis) growing on the beach alongside Marram and Lyme with red inflorescences and creeping stolons. My guess was Velvet Bent-grass though it could equally have been Creeping Bent-grass.

I consulted Martin Rand who commented on some photos (below) as follows: "I think it's probably a Bent-grass - Agrostis. But Agrostis canina (Velvet Bent-grass) seems very unlikely in that situation. A. stolonifera (Creeping Bent-grass) would be a better bet although it's not characteristic habitat for that, either, and the plants are on the large side. I did also toy with Wood Small-reed Calamagrostis epigejos, which will grow in such places, but the panicle looks a bit open. But then, it does tend to open up at flowering time."

I think Wood Small-reed - Calamagrostis epigejos is unlikely as the plants definitely had stolons and not rhizomes and did not seem big enough. So, I inclined to stay with Agrostis, with Creeping Bent-grass (A. stolonifera) as the most likely. Cope and Gray stress that it may be encountered in an exceptionally wide range of habitats and they do mention dune slacks and shingle (p.338). I will have another look next year!

 A panicle of Creeping Bent-grass (?) growing on the beach

This creeping grass is fairly common on the beach south of the chalets

 Grass with creeping runners (stolons) and growing with Lyme and Marram

 Marram Grass is the main binding plant on the dunes


Here are a few photos from this year only

 The pretty yellow flowers of Toadflax were very common on the roadsides and on the dunes

Green seedheads of Alexanders later turning black - on the dunes

 Burnet Rose was very common on the dunes

 This was the only patch of Common Valerian I found on the dunes south of the chalets

 The black fruits of Jointed Rush showed up well on the beach


 My only Painted Lady of the year feding on the luxuriant Lucerne by the lifeboat station

Prickly Sandwort grows on the beach to the south of the chalets 

 Clumps of Sea (Scentless) Mayweed were common on the beach

 We found this lovely Sea Anenome in a rock pool

Sea Rocket was widespread on the beach  

Sea Spurge was fairly common both on the beach and in the dunes 


Here is my complete list of plants recorded over four yearly holidays. Most were seen at Poppit Sands, with a few at other places visited.

Agrimony - occasional on roadside

Annual Meadow-grass - general

Alder - Roadside

Alexanders - with black seeds heads

Apple - Few trees on dunes

Annual Seablite - on saltmarshes

Barren Brome - General

Babbington's Orache - Low growing on sandy shore


Bee Orchid – a few on dunes.

Betony - Gwbert cliffs

Bird's-foot Trefoil – Mainly on the dunes.

Biting Stonecrop – Fairly common on walls around the area.

Bittersweet – dunes and roadside

Black Knapweed - frequent on dunes

Black Medick – General.

Blackthorn – Abundant

Bracken – Abundant on hillside

Bramble – General.

Bristly Ox-tongue - scarce on dunes

Broad-leaved Dock – Common

Broad-leaved Willowherb - On nature reserve

Bulbous Buttercup - Cliffs at Mwnt

Bulrushes - Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Burnet Rose – Abundant on the dunes. Large hips. New growth.

Butterfly Bush - Roadside

Cleavers - Occasional on dunes

Clustered Dock - mainly on dunes

Cocksfoot – General

Coltsfoot - scarce on dunes south

Cat's-ear - General - frequent

Common Centaury – Frequent on the dunes and elsewhere.

Common Chickweed - General

Common Cord-grass - on saltmarshes by Webley Hotel

Common Figwort - Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Common Fleabane - scarce on dunes - south

Common Fumitory – A few plants found in dunes.

Common Gorse – Abundant on the dunes

Common Mallow - occasional

Common Milkwort – Infrequent on the dunes.

Common Mouse-ear – common

Common Nettle

Common Orache - on saltmarshes in front of Webley Hotel

Common Polypody - Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Common Ragwort - abundant

Common Reed – On saltmarshes

Common Saltmarsh Grass

Common Sorrel - rare on roadside

Common Stork's-bill

Common Toadflax - Poppit dunes and Teifi Marsh reserve.

Common Valerian – 2011 On dunes to north of chalet - mainly seedheads

Common Vetch – General.

Compact Rush - scarce on dunes and beach

Corky-fruited Water-dropwort - Rare on dunes

Cow Parsley – A few plants still in flower.

Crack Willow - roadside

Creeping Bent-grass - general - also on the sandy beach with stolons

Creeping Buttercup – General

Creeping Cinquefoil - roadside

Creeping Thistle - general on dunes

Crested Dogstail – On nature reserve

Crow Garlic - On nature reserve and roadside

Curled Dock – Occasional in dunes.

Cut-leaved Crane's-bill

Daisy - General

Dandelion – General

Danish Scurvygrass - Newquay cliffs

Glasswort - on saltmarshes by Webley Hotel

Great Mullein - Occasionally on dunes

Dog Rose - Occasional

Dove's-foot Cranesbill - Occasional

Elder - Occasional on roadside

Enchanter's Nightshade - Occasional on roadside

English Scurvygrass – Common the saltmarshes

Eyebright - Occasional on dunes

False Brome - roadside

False Oat-grass – Occasional

Fennel - Newquay cliffs

Festulolium Hybrids - Scarce on Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Field Forget-me-not - On nature reserve

Field Horsetail – roadside

Field Scabious – Road to cliffs at Poppit ,,, scarce on dunes

Foxgloves – Occasional on roadside

Germander Speedwell - Frequent on dunes

Giant Fescue - On nature reserve

Giant Horsetail – On edge of saltmarshes by Webley Hotel

Glasswort sp – On edge of saltmarshes by Webley Hotel

Goatsbeard – rare on dunes

Golden Saxifrage – Abundant on Pam and Geoff's estate July 15 2009

Greater Plantain - general

Greater Sea-spurrey - Newquay quay

Grass Vetchling - On nature reserve

Great Willowherb - on dunes and roadside

Ground Ivy - general

Hare's-foot Clover – frequent on the dunes

Hart's-tongue Fern - rare

Hawthorn - Abundant

Heather - occasional

Hedge Bedstraw - Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Hedge Bindweed - occasional

Hedge Mustard - General

Hedge Woundwort

Hemlock Water-dropwort – Some large plants on dunes and elsewhere.

Hemp Agrimony - On Poppit Roadside. On nature reserve

Herb-Robert – General.

Himalayan Balsam - on road to Poppit Sands

Hoary Ragwort Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Hogweed - General

Honeysuckle - Plenty along the road to Poppit Sands

Hop Trefoil – Here and there on the dunes.

Italian Ryegrass

Japanese Knotweed – Only a few seen

Jointed Rush - Two patches past the chalets with black seeds

Knotgrass - common on beach - south

Ladies Bedstraw – Frequent on dunes

Large Bindweed – General

Large-flowered Evening Primrose - common on dunes

Lesser Hawkbit - Occasional on dunes

Lesser Sea Spurrey – Fairly common on saltmarshes

Lesser Stitchwort – Occasional on roadside and in dunes

Long-bracted Sedge – Just one plant on sea wall in front of Webley

Long-stalked Cranesbill - Main track of Teifi Marshes 21 July

Lords and Ladies

Lucerne - Abundant south of the lifeboat station. Different colours.

Lyme-grass – A few distinctive tufts on the edge of the dunes

Male Fern - rare

Marram Grass – Abundant. The main binding grass on the dunes.

Marsh Woundwort - occasional on dunes

Meadow Buttercup – General

Meadow Vetchling - Occasional on dunes

Meadowsweet - Plenty on dunes along roadside

Montbretia – On seawall in front of hotel. Newquay cliffs

Musk Mallow - Rare on dunes

Navelwort ** - On roadside up the hill from Poppit.

Nipplewort – Occasional

Orpine - Single plant on the main track on Teifi Marshes NR

Oxeye Daisy – Common on roadside

Pale Toadflax - Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Perennial Ryegrass - General

Perennial Sow-thistle – frequent on the dunes

Prickly Saltwort - common on sandy beach

Pineappleweed – roadside

Purple Loosestrife - Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Prickly Sow-thistle - Occasional

Pyramidal Orchid – Just a few flowering on the dunes.

Red Bartsia – Frequent on dunes

Red Clover – Frequent

Red Fescue – Mainly on saltmarshes

Red Campion – Abundant

Red Valerian – Everywhere along road sides.

Restharrow – fairly frequent on dunes.

Remote Sedge - on path the river from Netpool

Ribwort Plantain – General

Rock Sea-spurrey - Gwbert cliffs

Rosebay Willowherb – Flowering on nature reserve

Rough Chervil - Rare on roadside

Rough Hawkbit - Occasional on dunes

Rough Meadowgrass - General

Sand Sedge – The only sedge everywhere on the dunes

Scarlet Pimpernel - Newquay cliffs

Sycamore - Occasional

Sea Arrowgrass – Abundant on the saltmarshes in front of hotel

Sea Aster – on saltmarshes

Sea Beet - scarce on dunes

Sea Bindweed – Occasional on the dunes.

Sea Club-rush – General on the saltmarshes.

Sea Couch – Common on saltmarshes and dunes

Sea Mayweed - common on beach

Sea Milkwort – Fairly abundant on shore in front of hotel. 1st for me!

Sea Plantain – Common on saltmarshes.

Sea Purslane - Frequent on saltmarshes

Sea Rocket – Abundant on sandy shore

Sea Rush – Lots of old and new plants on saltmarshes.

Sea Spurge – Frequenton the sand dunes.

Sheep's Sorrel – Occasional on dunes

Shepherds Purse – Fairly common

Silver Ragwort – One or two bushes near the dunes.

Silverweed – Fairly common.

Slender Hare’s-ear ** - On nature reserve

Smooth Brome – General

Smooth Hawk's-beard – Frequent on dunes

Soft Brome - Occasional

Soft Rush - Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Southern Marsh Orchid – 100 dunes north of the lifeboat station.

Spear-leaved Orache – Abundant on saltmarshes.

Spear Thistle - Occasional on dunes

Sweet Vernal Grass – saltmarshes

Tall Fescue - On nature reserve

Thrift – Common on edge of estuary.

Tufted Hair-grass - Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Tufted Vetch – Abundant everywhere

Upright Hedge-parsley - Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Viper's Bugloss – Common mainly in dunes

Wall Barley - Occasional on roads

Water Figwort - Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Watercress – A few plants near a small stream.

Weld - occasional

White Clover – Common

White Stonecrop - On nature reserve

Wild Angelica - just a few plants on dunes

Wild Carrot – Frequent on the dunes

Wild Parsnip - common on roadside

Wild Thyme - Cliffs at Mwnt

Wood Avens - On nature reserve

Wood Sage – Surprised to find this one on the dunes.

Yarrow - General

Yellow Oatgrass

Yellow Rattle - occasional on dunes

Yorkshire Fog