Thursday, September 19, 2013
As a change from our urban existence a camping holiday took us to an extremely rural location, famous for its wildlife. We were only there for five days, but could I get anywhere near 1,000 ? Why not, we wouldn't be travelling around a lot, and it would give me something to do. The answer: no, of course I couldn't. One problem was that our chosen destination was a small, virtually treeless island on the south-western edge of Britain, St Agnes, which I'm sure many of you know. At the moment my total for our square there is about 450. If I ever get round to identifying a few mosses in packets it should go up a bit. We weren't helped by an almost total absence of migrant birds or insects: although a Small Marbled livened things up a bit I didn't even see a Diamond Back. The sea shores, at least those at Troytown, are too exposed to be very species-rich but two species of pipefish was nice and I wished I had some better seaweed keys (not that I'm sad or owt). Nice oceanic lichens there, including both Rocella species and Teloschistes flavicans. Of course it's not news that small islands have depauperate biota but interesting to note that a five minute shopping expedition in Hugh Town produced, if not the hoped for sea sickness pills, Episyrphus balteatus, Stigmella aurella, Pholcus phalangioides and Robin, none of them seen on Agnes. I wonder if 1,000 is do-able in a week anywhere in the UK ?