Man, it's been a good few days in my 1km square. Sunshine, migrants, it's, like, spring or something. It started well on Friday night when a vocal overflying wigeon was the hundredth bird for the garden list. That's a big deal!! I tripped out of the house full of hope on Saturday morning, and wandered down to the stream where I was blown away by a pair of brook lampreys spawning in the shallow gravel. A tick and totally awesome beastie! There was a swallow around the farmstead near the centre of the square, and a pair of reed buntings frequenting a reedy pond.
Along the banks of the stream, which is canalised and long since has been relieved of any natural meandering, there are some patches of nice flora, with bits of moschatel, valerian and lesser celandine. The arable fields are also starting to support weeds, and common cudweed was also added. And a discovery; a small section of road verge in the south of the square supports some acid grassland species, including whitlow grass, field woodrush and gorse. I have high hopes this this 100m section of verge might support some interesting inverts later in the summer.
Back in the garden, white and red tailed bumblebees have made an appearance, and the moth trap has produced a trickle of new species, with the lep list on 19. Demolition of an old garden shed (aided by 13 year old son who almost broke his shin with the sledgehammer) added smooth newt hiding under the makeshift foundations, as well as the awesome spider Dysdera crocata and a couple of common woodlouse species.
I am loving this challenge. It is providing me with some terrific wildlife moments, testing and stretching my ID skills and hence enlarging my natural history knowledge, and also inspiring my seven year old daughter to get into bug-hunting. Also, it has spurred me on to dig a garden pond, and start to turn my garden into a bug heaven. Follow me on Twitter @robert_yaxley for some good photos and recordshots.