Another morning spent trampling through TQ1960 (and it's nice to be able to trample once more rather than splosh through the mud...) Yesterday's glorious sunshine has gone, but at least it remained moderately warm.
First up a few extra additions from my joint trip with Mark Telfer on 1st March. They are three beetles he took away to ID - Asaphidion curtum, Leptusa fumida and Crepidodera aurea. The latter I've seen before. Also I quite forgot about the Yew Artichoke Galls we opened up, seeing the tiny midge larva within. Hence...
From 1st March trip with Mark Telfer
324 - Asaphidion curtum (beetle) - pootered from moss (LIFER)
325 - Leptusa fumida (beetle) - beaten from a rotten branch (LIFER)
326 - Crepidodera aurea (beetle) - found beneath aspens
327 - Taxomyia taxi (midge) Yew Artichoke Gall Midge - galls opened up to reveal grub (LIFER)
Back to today -
Immediately obvious were the masses of crocus erupting in front gardens, in window boxes, in the verges and (more importantly) quite a few clumps well-naturalised in woods and under trees well away from gardens. They were all of the same species, Early Crocus Crocus tommasinianus. Petals are much more slender and "throats" are white compared to the usual Spring Crocus C.vernus which isn't up around here yet.
Next up a quick check in a Yellow Meadow Ant's hill revealed that the ants are once again active as was a basking Adder near the Highest Point, my first reptile of The Challenge! Rather annoyingly I easily found Hypoxylon multiforme, Yellow Brain Fungus (albeit orange and hard) and Witches' Butter - targets for Mark which we failed to see last week.
A small stream had masses of Water Lice and quite a few unidentified 'shrimps n tings' within. It's only 6 inches deep and a foot wide, so I'll be back with a net soon. Getting stuck with a microfungi on dead gorse stems (masses of very small, elongated, black wrinkled plates) and a white powdery coating on Lesser Celandine leaves. Ideas anybody?
328 - Early Crocus Crocus tommasinianus - clumps in woodland/well away from houses (LIFER)
329 - Yellow Meadow Ant - hills at edges of Blake's Pond
330 - Adder - 1 basking near the Highest Point
331 - Daffodil - quite a few coming through. Probably all of garden/sown origin though....
332 - Spanish Bluebell - clumps pushing through beneath trees
333 - Ivy Leaf-spot Colletotrichum trichellum - on Ivy leaves
334 - Water Louse Asellus aquaticus - lots in a tiny shallow stream
So that's the first third complete. I hope the second third will be as much fun! Doubtless flowering plants and inverts will dominate. I'm a bit worried about the final third though. 300 isn't too tricky to achieve. 1000 is a different matter entirely and I'm not moth trapping either. Hmmmm....