Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dalgety Bay, Fife, NT1582 - 500 not out!

This morning's news is all about Seth's big find so I'm sure this will rightly get gazumped shortly! Congrats to him (and another example of just how useful a 1km square survey is! Scandinavian birders ... pfft)

So this morning Nebria brevicollis became my 500th species for the square. I tried very hard last night to make it a muscid fly but it was refusing to lie down!

Nebria brevicollis
I must have a bit of a review later but it's great to be at the half way stage and 4 days before schedule.

Also I really should mention how good Duff was in sorting out a flea beetle I never thought would happen, although to be fair the FSC guide was if anything more direct.

And so without further ado, here are the final entries of the end of the beginning
497 Gongylidium rufipes A Linyphiid spider
498 Tipula varipennis A cranefly
499 Psylloides napi A flea beetle
500 Nebria brevicollis A ground beetle

Monday, April 24, 2017

NT1582, Dalgety Bay, Fife - Zombie Crab

After adding a handful of not-particulary-interesting microfungi and another couple of flies I was able to make a low tide foray on Sunday morning. First Common Terns of the year were screeching around Hopeward Point and I eventually found this young Edible Crab ...

I don't expect to see Spirobranchus worm on the top of a baby crab so I turned it over and ...

there it was -  Sacculina carcini - the parasitic barnacle, noted to be common in Green Shore Crab population, but apparently also in Edible Crab. The Collins field guide had this curious comment: "We only include this species for completeness as undoubtedly everyone in the British isles is already familiar with it". How very odd ... I guess I'm the last then.

484 Cepaea hortensis White-lipped Snail
485 Linaria cannabina Linnet
486 Parasyrphus punctulatus A hoverfly
487 Scathophaga stercoraria A fly
488 Ascochyta mercurialis A fungus
489 Peyronellaea curtisii A fungus
490 Anthostomella rubicola A fungus
491 Colletotrichum dematium A fungus
492 Sterna hirundo Common Tern
493 Sacculina carcini A barnacle

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Aberbargoed - Graig

524..Coreus marginatus – Dock Bug
525..Puccinia urticata (Fungus)
526..Ommatoiulus sabulosus (Millipede) Looked to be under most of what i turn over, they seem to have appeared out of no where

527..Prunus avium – Wild Cherry
528..Helvella acetabulum (Fungus) Lifer...found under Hazel in small wooded area.

529..Prunus laurocerasus – Cherry Laurel
530..Phytomyza ilicis – Holly Leaf Gall
531..Rumex crispus – Curled Dock
532..Barypeithes pellucidus (Beetle) Under discarded carpet on an old bottle tip.

533..Gonioctena olivacea (Beetle) Several seen on Broom.

534..Columella aspera (Snail)
535..Entomobrya intermedia (Springtail)
536..Peyronellaea curtisii (Fungus) Lifer...Thanks for this one Seth. :)

537..Lathronympha strigana (Moth caterpillar...St Johns Wort) Several seen in spun leaf tips.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

And County Durham passing 400

Thats the 400 mark passed, the days (and nights)  have started started to warm up a bit, the moth numbers are increasing, plantlife and insects generally are beginning to emerge and the weather forecast.... . Snow on Tuesday!

Here's where I am at the moment

Keith Robson
Waldridge (VC66)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Skye - Passing 500

Well I finally managed it, the 500th species in NG3963 fell yesterday afternoon. I had a day off work and decided I wasn't coming back until 500 had been achieved. First addition at number 498 was this

Nettle Clustercup Rust Puccinia urticata  on Common Nettle
This was followed by the common moss Mnium hornum which I've just overlooked. And the 500th? Bit of a bolt from the blue and not at all expected, a Grey Seal spyhopping in the bay! I'd heard that a bull sometimes follows the fishing boats into the pier (outside my square) but boom! There he was across this side just lazing around. No pics, too far away to be worth pointing my clickamatic at him.

Also in the bay was a lone Greenshank picking through the debris at the water's edge, they breed on Skye so I expect this individual won't be the last one I see.

I managed to find not one but two Arion ater beneath stones, black colouration and fringe lines running into the pale sole clinching ID for me

Arion ater - where have they all been hiding?
The remaining four additions were all microfungi, with two of them being lifers for me. Here's the first one

Puccinia primulae on Primrose leaf. Apparently common but new for me
Uromyces ficariae was found in quantity on a patch of Lesser Celandines

Uromyces ficariae - spores checked just to be sure
The next lifer was parasitising Marsh Marigolds growing in a tiny freshwater seepage in grasses at the top of the beach. I'm more used to seeing these plants in woodland habitats, not in the middle of an open field.

Ramularia calthae on Marsh Marigold - the spores are very thin and elongated (and difficult to photograph!)
Additions since last update as follows:

486 - Trombidium holosericeum Red Velvet Mite (arachnid) - Lifer
487 - Butterbur (plant)
488 - Ommatoiulus sabulosus Striped Millipede (myriapod)
489 - Wild Thyme (plant)
490 - Eisenia foetida Brandling Worm (annelid)
491 - Agonopterix heracliana (moth)
492 - Common Sandpiper (bird)
493 - Swallow (bird)
494 - Blackcap (bird)
495 - Common Dog Violet (plant)
496 - Fringecups (plant)
497 - Campaea margaritaria Light Emerald (moth)
498 - Mnium hornum (moss)
499 - Puccinia urticata (microfungus) - Lifer
500 - Grey Seal (mammal)
501 - Ramularia calthae (microfungus) - Lifer
502 - Greenshank (bird)
503 - Arion ater (mollusc)
504 - Puccinia primulae (microfungus) - Lifer
505 - Trochila craterium (microfungus)
506 - Uromyces ficariae (microfungus)

Still waiting for that mass-emergence of inverts and flowering plants. The Fringecups was new for the hectad and only the 5th record for Skye. Even better, the carpet of Ground-ivy I found some weeks back is the first record in Uig for decades and just the 6th post-2000 record for the entire vice county! I think the BSBI recorder is quite pleased thus far.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


My last two jobs have been in my square. Slightly disappointed that I've not added anything to my list from these gardens....need to look harder?

513..Phrurolithus festivus (Spider)
514..Pirapion immune (Beetle)
515..Aglaostigma aucupariae (Sawfly)

516..Polydrusus tereticollis (Beetle) Found on old Bracken stem, which it blended in well with Bracken map.

517..Sminthurus viridis (Springtail)
518..Altica lythri (Beetle)
519..Ecdyonurus torrentis (Mayfly) Oddly found this one on my living room window...indoors.

520..Lepisma saccharina (Silverfish) Found in the bath

521..House Martin
522..Bombus pascuorum (Bee)
523..Human (Wayne Collins...he's wild as Whimberries)

Dalgety Bay Fife - Lunchtimus mirabilis

It was 50/50 whether I finally caught up with gym time or went outside at lunchtime. Fortunately I went to bed too late last night to be bothered with the gym and it was sunny into the bargain.

Headed straight for the blackthorns where I had caught and then lost a lovely tachinid yesterday, which I'm pretty certain was Paracraspedothrix montivaga, a species I have recorded in the square last year. Anyway ... First to catch my eye were Peacock butterflies chasing up and down the upper shore, before I spotted an all dark large hoverfly on the strandline. Could it be?

A swing ... and a miss. Fly escapes. Next it, or another of the same, shows up on a blackthorn flower but in a tricky spot. A swing ... and a miss. Aaaaargh!

Suddenly from the strandline a large beetle burst onto the wing and I thought I was in for my first carrion beetle of the year. But no! What the bejeesus is this?! A fantastic Creophilus maxillosus, a big furry staph of similar magnitude to the Devil's Coach Horse only all fancy-likes with a fur coat. What a beauty! This is a quick record shot and the distribution map for the species as per NBN (I happen to know it HAS been recorded in Fife). In case you don't know where I am, it's just above Edinburgh in that vast white record desert ;)

After a ten minute stalk I did manage to catch not one but two Eristalins aeneus, first for mainland Fife and a fly I've been longing to see for a long time. For completeness the pic and map for that species too.

Latest numbers:

475 Phaonia subventa A muscid fly
476 Melanostoma mellinum A hoverfly
477 Phylloscopus trochila Willow Warbler
478 Eristalinus aeneus A hoverfly
479 Creophilus maxillosus Carrion Beetle

Sand Point VC6

Been working through a mountain of bryophyte samples from a recent trip to Snowdonia so just a few additions lately but some nice ones all the same. Keep missing migrant birds that visitors have been reporting but still plenty of time to catch up. First butterflies added finally during last weeks warm spell.

Algae 7
Slime Mould 1
Lichen 49
Fungi 12
Bryophytes 64
Vascular Plants 92
Cnidarians 1
Molluscs 7
Arachnids 1
Myriapods 1
Crustaceans 3
Springtails 3
Hymenoptera 8
Coleoptera 17
Diptera 41
Butterflies 2
Moths 5
Birds 53
Mammals 5
Others 1
Total 373

Bibio anglicus

Gynnidomorpha vectisana

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A couple of hours at the woods

Absolutely gorgeous day in Cornwall today and I decided to spend a few hours at Kings Wood looking to start off my list properly and recorded the following :

11. Dock Bug - Coreus marginatus

12. Common Dog Violet - Plant
13. Navelwort - Plant
14. Cleavers - Plant
15. Holly Blue - Butterfly
16. Herb Robert - Plant
17. Honeysuckle - Plant
18. Lesser Celandine - Plant
19. Lords & Ladies - Plant
20. Noon Fly - Fly
21. Opposite-leaved Golden-Saxifrage - Plant
22. Pendulous Sedge - Plant
23. Wild Primrose - Plant
24. Soft Shield Fern - Plant
25. Wavy Bittercress - Plant
26. Great Tit - Bird
27. Chaffinch - Bird
28. Wren - Bird
29. Robin -  Bird
30. Chiffchaff - Bird
31. Willow Warbler - Bird
32. Blackcap - Bird
33. Sycamore - Plant
34. Grey Wagtail - Plant
35. Atlantic Ivy - Plant
36. Lesser Celandine - Plant
37. Holly - Plant
38. Winter Helitrope - Plant
39. Red Campion - Plant
40. Harts Tongue Fern - Plant
41. Goldfinch - Plant
42. Hemlock Water Dropwort - Plant
43. Ribwort Plantain - Plant
44. Common Nettle - Plant
45. Common Dandelion - Plant
46. Common Bluebell - Plant
47. Bitter Dock - Plant
48. Common Wasp -Wasp
49. Common Daisy - Plant
50. Mallard - Bird
51. Buzzard - Bird
52. Raven - Bird
53. Herring Gull - Bird
54. Goldcrest - Bird
55. Hogsweed - Plant
56. Himalayan Balsam - Plant
57. Blackbird - Bird
58. Song Thrush - Bird
59. Wood Pigeon - Bird
60. Great Spotted Woodpecker - Bird
61. Carrion Crow - Bird
62. Blue Tit - Bird
63. Yellow Archangel - Plant
64. Common Carder Bee - Bee
65. Speckled Wood - Butterfly
66. Silver Birch - Plant
67. Holy Blue - Butterfly
68. Buff-tailed Bumblebee - Bee
69. Bee Fly
70. English Oak - Plant
71. Hazel - Plant
72. Hawthorn - Plant
73. Scarlet Pimpernel - Plant
74. Foxglove - Plant
75. Ash - Plant
76. Pineapple Weed - Plant
77. Monterey Pine - Plant
78. Scots Pine - Plant
79. White Poplar - Plant
80. Self Heal - Plant
81. Blackthorn - Plant
82. Bracken - Plant
83. Meadow Buttercup - Plant
84. Creeping Buttercup - Plant
85. White Willow - Plant
86. Grey Willow - Plant
87. Elder - Plant
88. Ragwort - Plant
89. Red Clover - Plant
90. White Clover - Plant
91. Common Gorse - Plant
92. Elm - Plant

I also found this beetle under a rotting log which is most likely Nebria brevicollis.
After having a look online it seems Nebria brevicollis and Nebria salina are indistinguishable without examining the beetles under a microscope (or possibly a good hand lens). N. brevicollis has fine hairs on the dorsal surface of the hind tarsi which are absent in N. salina.

I also found these two which again need a good look under a microscope (which I don't have).



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dalgety Bay, Fife - Quickie easter update

Couple of nice surprise molluscs over the weekend. Oddly the Grey Sea Slug seems to be a lifer though I know for sure I have seen one before!

Also found were Sea Lemon eggs, helpfully shown in the Collins Shore guide.

Grey Sea Slug

King Scallop

Sea Lemon eggs


452 Platycheirus ambiguus A hoverfly (*)
453 Epistrophe elegans A hoverfly
454 Ceratinsostoma ostiorum A Scathophagid fly
455 Aeolidia papillosa Grey Sea Slug
456 Doris pseudoargus Sea Lemon
457 Sylvia atricapilla Blackcap
458 Pecten maximus King Scallop
459 Laminaria hyperborea Cuvie
460 Syrphus ribesii A hoverfly
461 Ommatoiulus sabulosus Striped Millipede
462 Arabidopsis thaliana Thale Cress
463 Silene uniflora Sea Campion
464 Sepsis fulgens A Sepsid Fly
465 Phaonia serva A muscid fly
466 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla Beautiful Plume
467 Buccinum undatum Common whelk
468 Bombus pratorum Early Bumble Bee

(*) First county record