Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dodgy bulbs

Today I was joined by my lovely wife Sami, uncharacteristically awake and keen to come out into TQ1960 before midday with me. I did the grand tour of the square, apart from the extreme SE corner which is just rubbishy housing on a rough estate.

I'm in a quandary regards some of the plants I'm seeing. Most are perfectly countable but what about the bulbs that are currently erupting everywhere? I've counted a patch of Snowdrops near Stamford Green as they are miles from the nearest garden/planting feature, but there are daffs coming up in the verges and crocus too. I know there will be daffs in the woods, well away from habitation/planting schemes, which I'll add to the tally but I really don't know what to do with the soon-to-be profusion of crocuses near the houses of Stamford Green. Thoughts anyone..?

Anyway, onto Epsom Common where the obligatory session of log-turning revealed 3 flatworms together. Typically they proved to be the only terrestrial flatworm I've ever seen before - Microplana terrestris. Interestingly the last ones I saw were 2 together. Are they usually communal? No idea. Also managed to key out a flat-backed millipede as Brachydesmus superus which was new for me. Managed to add a feeding flock of Siskin to the 'seen' list (previously a 'heard only' species for this challenge) and a pair of Stock Doves too. A scour of the church walls added a few common mosses. Sam suggested that my ongoing inability to find sticklebacks at Stamford Green Pond was because I was looking in the wrong place. The daft girl, what does she know? 30 seconds later I was looking at c100 3-spined Sticklebacks....humble pie was eaten (well, force-fed actually!)

A brief wander into the streets opposite Stamford Green added quite a few Bucculatrix thoracella cocoons on lime trunks (the limes are council planted so uncountable) and a fallen branch covered in the yellow lichen Xanthoria polycarpa which I was surprised to discover was also a lifer for me. Sweet.

257 - Bucculatrix thoracella (moth) - on lime trunks, urban streets
256 -  XANTHORIA POLYCARPA (lichen) - on fallen branch, urban streets (LIFER)
255 - Stock Dove - over Stamford Green
254 - 3-spined Stickleback - 100+ in feeder (not outlet!) stream, Stamford Green Pond
253 - Strawberry Snail Trochulus striolatus - Stamford Green
252 - Red Dead-nettle - Stamford Green
251 - Snowdrop - a patch, hopefully countable, Stamford Green
250 - Wall Screw-moss Tortula muralis - Christchurch walls
249 - Capillary Thread-moss Bryum capillare - Christchurch walls
248 - Catherine's Moss Atrichum undulatum - Horton Heath
247 - BRACHYDESMUS SUPERUS (millipede) - under logs, Epsom Common (LIFER)
246 - Microplana terrestris (terrestrial flatworm) - 3 under a log, Epsom Common

Off work tomorrow too, hope the weather holds up as well as it did today...

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