Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Smashing through the 200 barrier!

Spent a (mostly) dry day out on Epsom Common determined to break the 200 barrier. To be fair, I only needed two more species to hit it so I was quietly confident I'd manage it.

199 was a dead cert, Chamomile on Stamford Green cricket pitch. With the snow having finally disappeared the bright green patches were easy to find. A wander through the wooded areas added Thyme-leaved Speedwell before I arrived at Blake's Pond, one of the top hotspots in TQ1960. Despite the ridiculous flooding I managed to bag a couple of freshwater snails and waterplants whilst a bit of log-turning came up trumps with three Great-crested Newts hibernating beneath one log...which I very carefully replaced!!!

Returning home, I shed my pond-dipping gear before wandering the streets finding a few urban weeds for my troubles. Once more onto the Common where I discovered a few hibernating inverts and added a worm and slug to the tally by checking underneath yet more logs.

I've a few liverworts and mosses sitting in pots awaiting identification so my total will rise when I can face checking them! Also got 4 Limnephilus caddis larva, possibly L.flavicornis. But I think I'll have to return them to their pond rather than attempt a dodgy ID.

216 - Yellow Cellar Slug Limacus flavus - under debris, Epsom Common
215 - Blue-grey Earthworm Octolasion cyaneum - under a log, Epsom Common
214 - Invisible Spider Drapetisca socialis - Epsom Common
213 - Harlequin Ladybird - hibernating, Epsom Common
212 - Common Earwig - Epsom Common
211 - Bonfire Moss Funaria hygrometrica - Bramble Heath, Epsom Common
210 - Hairy Bittercress - 1 in flower, urban streets
209 - Greater Periwinkle - in an alleyway, off Ebbisham Road
208 - English Elm - in a hedge, Lane End
207 - New Zealand Stonecrop (boo!) - Blake's Pond, Epsom Common
206 - Yellow Iris - Blake's Pond, Epsom Common
205 - Common Striped Woodlouse Philoscia muscorum - Epsom Common
204 - Great-crested Newt - Blake's Pond, Epsom Common (3)
203 - Ivy-leaved Duckweed - Blake's Pond, Epsom Common
202 - The Ramshorn - Planorbis planorbis - Blake's Pond, Epsom Common
201 - Acute Bladder Snail Physella acuta - Blake's Pond, Epsom Common
200 - Thyme-leaved Speedwell - Epsom Common
199 - Chamomile - masses at Stamford Green cricket pitch

Next day off work this week is Thus 31st Jan. It would be amazing to hit 250 in the first month of The Challenge, but I'm not sure I can do it. Still need some silly stuff birdwise (Canada Goose, Kestrel, Stock Dove, Mistle Thrush for example) and there are lots of plants I'm too rusty to recognise without them being fully grown and in flower. All I need is some decent weather...and to ID some more bryophytes, lol.

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