Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finally....that elusive 300!

Juggling pan-listing, children, work, my conservation projects and running has made additions to my square few and far between in recent weeks! However the past few days with warmer weather has got me adding a few more species!

My favorite addition so far has been this lifer of a micro moth Semioscopis steinkellneriana!

Not only does it have a spectacular name, but it is just a stunning little creature! 
My additions so far, bring me past the elusive 300 mark to 303! Here are the latest species:

245    Bombus terrestris    Buff-tailed Bumble Bee
246    Phylloscopus trochilus    Willow Warbler
247    Asellus aquaticus    Water Louse
248    Aglais urticae    Small Tortoiseshell
249    Haemopis sanguisuga    Horse Leech
250    Puccinia tanaceti   
251    Scathophaga stercoraria    Yellow Dung-fly
252    Culiseta annulata    Mosquito species
253    Filipendula ulmaria    Meadowsweet
254    Potentilla anserina     Silverweed
255    Arum maculatum    Lords and Ladies
256    Umbilicus rupestris     Navelwort
257    Cheiranthus cheiri     Wallflower
258    Epilobium montanum    Broad-leaved Willowherb
259    Sedum anglicum    English Stonecrop
260    Veronica chamaedrys    Germander Speedwell
261    Meconopsis cambrica      Welsh Poppy
262    Cirsium dissectum    Meadow Thistle
263    Agriopis marginaria    Dotted Border
264    Inachis io    Peacock
265    Bombylius major    Large Bee-fly
266    Sylvia atricapilla    Blackcap
267    Stellaria uliginosa    Bog Stitchwort
268    Valeriana officinalis    Common Valerian
269    Cerastium semidecandrum    Little Mouse-ear
270    Brassica oleracea    Wild Cabbage
271    Gallium mullugo     Hedge Bedstraw
272    Smyrnium olusatrum    Alexanders
273    Veronica beccabunga    Brooklime
274    Galba truncatula    Dwarf Pondsnail
275    Betula pendula    Silver Birch
276    Crangonyx pseudogracilis     Water Shrimp
277    Lymnaea peregra    Wandering Pondsnail
278    Lymnaea stagnalis     Great Pondsnail
279    Satchellius mammalis    Tree Earthworm
280    Datronia mollis    Common Mazegill
281    Semioscopis steinkellneriana    micro moth sp
282    Strix aluco    Tawny Owl
283    Sylvia communis    Whitethroat
284    Andrena haemorrhoa    Early Mining Bee
285    Anthocharis cardamines    Orange-tip
286    Pieris napi    Green-veined White
287    Aglais urticae    Small Tortoiseshell
288    Andrena fulva    Tawny Mining Bee
289    Bombus lapidarius    Red-tailed Bumblebee
290    Phoxinus phoxinus    Common Minnow
291    Salmo trutta    Brown Trout
292    Luzula campestris    Field Woodrush
293    Primula veris    Cowslip
294    Ribes rubrum    Red Current
295    Euphorbia amygdaloides    Wood Spurge
296    Myosotis arvensis    Field Forget-me-not
297    Pedicularis sylvatica    Lousewort
298    Prunus avium    Wild Cherry
399    Carex flacca    Glaucous Sedge
300    Anthoxanthum odoratum    Sweet Vernal Grass
301    Eristalis pertinax    Tapered Drone-fly
302    Bryum capillare    Capillary Thread Moss
303    Kleidocerys resedae    Birch Catkin Bug
This is my 3rd year doing moth trapping with the Garden Moth Scheme, I'd done some trapping in the garden for a couple of years, but didn't put the trap out that often.  The GMS involves trapping every Friday night for 36 weeks from early March to November, you can miss up to 7 weeks as long as you miss no more than 3 in a row.  You put out your trap in the same spot in the garden each week, you can trap either a couple of days early or late, but the Friday is preferred if possible unless the weather is so bad that the moths or the trap would be damaged.  Last Friday was one of those nights with high winds and torrential rain, so I trapped on the Saturday instead.  All I caught was a single Hebrew Character, so that makes 5 moths of 3 species in the 1st 9 weeks of the scheme this year. 

A quick walk around the woods yesterday of just under an hour brought me another 13 new species for the year bringing my total to 65.  One of these was a gorgeous male Redstart which I haven't seen in the square before.  Another spring migrant was a Willow Warbler, the other 11 species were plants.  Some of these were flowering, others are pretty easy ones that I can recognise without flowers.  The full list is below along with a picture of a Wood Anemone.

Date Added
Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character
27th of April
Phoenicurus phoenicurus Redstart
29th of April
Phylloscopus trochilus Willow Warbler
29th of April
Vaccinium myrtillus Blaeberry
29th of April
Myrica gale Bog Myrtle
29th of April
Cytisus scoparia Broom
29th of April
Urtica dioica Common Nettle
29th of April
Vaccinium vitis-idaea Cowberry
29th of April
Lonicera periclymenum Honeysuckle
29th of April
Ficaria verna Lesser Celandine
29th of April
Calluna vulgaris Heather
29th of April
Caltha palustris Marsh Marigold
29th of April
Anemone nemorosa Wood Anemone
29th of April
Oxalis acetosella Wood Sorrel
29th of April

Wood Anemone - Anemone nemorosa

Spidery delight

Just a quick sortie around part of the square today, my wife had the day off too (we rarely coincide our days off work) so I had to hustle out and back as best I could. But it was worth the effort -

Wandering the housing estate was profitable with Creeping-Jenny, Thale Cress, Greater Plantain (forgot to add this to the tally weeks ago!) and a Large White all new for the year. I had it in my mind that Zebra Spider and harvestmen should be active on walls/under sills so headed for the local church and gave it some effort. Just one extra species, but what a corker...Bearing in mind that I don't live in the square and the pub (which IS in the square) has annoyingly immaculate toilets, I was wondering who's door I should knock on and ask to use their loo in order to find the next species. Christ Church walls saved me that ordeal for there, in all it's glory, perched a mighty fine Pholcus phalangioides!!!! I don't think I've EVER seen one outdoors before, except maybe in a shed. But this was properly outdoors, bless the little bugger :) 

Back on Epsom Common I headed for the Highest Point and it's scrub. The unmistakable ramble of a Garden Warbler was tracked down to a pair, my first for the year, and 3 Buzzards overhead reinforced the fact that they are resident in the area. Scaly Male-fern was unfurling with Male-fern nearby for instant comparisons.

Heading back towards home I checked a suntrap area near the back of the Wells houses. Under a concrete slab I found Common Pill Woodlouse and a huge Scolopendromorph which I later keyed out to Cryptops anomalans. I'm finding the centipedes quite easy to key out, unlike the springtails which I ignored for today! There are a few residents who seem to see the land behind their gardens as a perfectly acceptable site to dump their garden refuse, hence I added Blackcurrant (small patch suckering outwards) and a large patch of Japanese Rose (suckering all over the damn place, I've seen it cover large areas before), both over 35ft from the gardens in question and hence (dubiously) countable for this challenge. I'm NOT counting the lone Tulip thats currently flowering in a weedy verge though, that's just taking the piss!

I netted a few small, slender hoverflies and keyed them all to Melanostoma scalare, a lifer.  Back at the very edge of the square is a small overflow stream which has several Water Dock growing in it, my last addition of the day. I finish on 482 species.

Today's additions are:
470 - Creeping-Jenny - in a ditch alongside Stamford Green Meadows
471 - Thale Cress - growing along footpaths/garden walls
472 - Large White - a female settled in grasses, Epsom Common 
473 - Greater Plantain - lots around Stamford Green streets, just realised it wasn't on the list
474 - Pholcus phalangioides (a spider)- one on the church walls - utterly outside!!!!
475 - Garden Warbler - a pair in scrub near the Highest Point, Epsom Common
476 - Cryptops anomalans (a centipede) - one under a concrete slab, Epsom Common (LIFER)
477 - Common Pill Woodlouse Armadillidium vulgare - 1 under a slab, Epsom Common
478 - Blackcurrant - patch behind gardens of Wells Estate, Epsom Common
479 - Japanese Rose - patch behind gardens of Wells Estate, Epsom Common
480 - Melanostoma scalare (a hoverfly) 3 netted, Epsom Common
481 - Scaly Male-fern - just unfurling, scale details noted alongside Male-ferns
482 - Water Dock - several growing in an outflow stream, Lane End area

Monday, April 29, 2013

B hopeless

Still not caught up with Jan's Kingfisher, but a solid three hours on the allotment on 20 April yielded some rows of potatoes and a flyover Red Kite (it's the fashion). This was the first decent day of the month with 23 additions including the remaining 3 hibernating butterflies. Two days later and a Lesser Redpoll finally made it to the niger feeder in the garden.

I don't always see Puss Moth at the trap so was delighted to find one sat on the fence at the bottom of the garden on 23rd.

Bees are something I've never tried to identify before. What a lot of them there are. So I really don't know what this one is - possibly same as Andy's recent Andrena flavipes?
And might this chap be the Tawny Mining-bee - A. fulva? Looks fairly distinctive but a bit darker than most pics apart from the tip of its abdomen. So not counted either of them, clearly. Help...

I'm loving the bugs though, which I seem to be having more success with (a mighty five species so far - well it's five more than I would usually have seen). This seems to be Nettle Ground-bug Heterogaster urticae.

So far my 285 species comprises: 2 amphibians (including a female Great Crested in the garden - no of course I didn't pick it up); 3 beetles (could do better); 55 birds; 5 (count 'em) bugs; 4 butterflies; 2 woodlice; a fish; a bee-fly, 5 hoverflies and no other flies; 2 fungi; 4 bees; 8 lichens (need to get Rupert over here later in the year); 1 liverwort; 1 mammal; 2 millipedes; 8 molluscs, none of them slugs; 10 mosses; 21 moths; an Orthopteran (a tiny Dark Bush-cricket nymph today); 6 spiders (they are tough!); a springtail; 140 Vascular plants and 2 worms.

Loving the bugs and hoverflies, which I've been meaning to get into for years, sort of enjoying the mosses but they are quite hard, and definitely enjoying exploring the square finding new tiny fragments of vaguely interesting habitat.

It's all going Latinised...

Had a brilliant time in the square today with several lifers in the form of a millipede, a cuckoo bee, a few springtails, a bug, a beetle and my first ever barkfly. None of them have 'common names' as such, which I see as meaning I'm finally getting into some of the more obscure orders - which is bloody great!!! 

I've just treated myself to a few new ID guides/keys including the Collembola and Hoverflies. I'm hoping to put both to good use! I started off by adding three very common springtails which I've seen umpteen times before but have never named. Required the full zoom of The Telferscope to clinch certain details (the 'spring' in Tomocerus is forked and the 'inner thigh area' of the spring has teeth which vary in shape between the species. We're talking about some seriously small features! Plus the claw tips are important too...) Whilst checking for springtails I noticed a tiny ball of green dust scurry into a crack...turns out to be the nymph of a barkfly - I've never seen one of those before!!! After lots of internet trawling I've pinned the ID on Loensia variegata, the nymph is one of just a handful that camouflage themselves with debris and their own frass. I even managed to see the hairy eyes! I'm growing it on, just to confirm the identity. Amazing thing to watch going about its microscopic duties on a small fragment of bark. Makes me happy!

The only hoverfly I caught was Helophilus pendulus (frons dusting and leg colouring duly noted!) but the Nomada bee on a dandelion was new for me, Nomada ruficornis. A bug in grasses was Stenodema laevigata with it's furrowed head, lack of femoral spines and coarsely pitted pronotum. Why are so many deadwood beetles black with red markings? Plenty of the atypical Staph Scaphidium quadrimaculatum noted including a pair together plus 4 ladybird-like beetles gathered around a slime mould. They turned out to be Anistoma humeralis, and slimes are their favoured haunt! Dunno what the slime was though, looked like an overripe Enteridium lycoperdon but much squishier?

A Common Shrew was the largest animal addition to the list!

Plants are bursting up all over the place. Best discovery was a healthy patch of 93 Common Twayblades at Blake's Pond, previously I've seen about 6 or 7 spikes on Epsom Common so I'm just a bit chuffed at finding this lot. Worryingly though, I haven't found any basal leaves of Common Spotted-orchid yet. I know some were illegally dug up a few years ago. Silverweed was an overdue addition, a huge shock was finding an enormous clump of Marsh Marigold in a ditch a mere 200metres from my house - I had NO IDEA it occured here!

I'm free again tomorrow, hopefully a few hoverflies (and that Red Kite that other people keep seeing...) will be found. And some wasps please, I have my ID chart ready and waiting, lol.

Today's additions are:

454 - Rowan - several seedlings now in leaf allowing me to recognise them!
455 - Water Plantain - new growth now emerging beneath last year's dead stalks, Blake's Pond
456 - Common Twayblade - amazing colony of 93 (so far...) spikes at Blake's Pond
457 - Cylindroilus caeruleocinctus (millipede) - whopping bronze version of Tachypodius niger (LIFER)
458 - Nomada ruficornis (a cuckoo-bee) - one on Dandelion (LIFER)
459 - Helophilus pendulus (a hoverfly) - swept from heather
460 - Caloptilia syringella (a micromoth) adult netted in woodland
461 - Common Shrew - heard squeaking in a bramble patch, trapping suggests Pygmy Shrew is absent here
462 - Anistoma humeralis (beetle) - 4 on a slime mould, underside of a fallen birch stump (LIFER)
463 - Tomocerus longicornis (springtail) - very commonplace. Keyed out (LIFER)
464 - Tomocerus minor (springtail) - a common species. Keyed out (LIFER)
465 - Orchesella villosa (springtail) - a common and very hairy wee beast (LIFER)
466 - Loensia variegata (a barkfly) - nymph covered in debris/frass. My 1st barkfly!!! (LIFER)
467 - Stenodema laevigata (a bug) - one swept from lang grasses (LIFER)
468 - Silverweed - fresh growth just coming through alongside pathways
469 - Marsh Marigold - very unexpectedly found a huge clump in overflow channel

I guess I'll have to put in a stupendous effort tomorrow in an attempt to hold Mike at bay. I think it'll be game over for me once 500 is achieved, too many moth trappers and botanists out there for me to keep up, lol!

TQ2897 - an update

I’m well overdue in giving an update. March was horrendous. Until the changeover to BST I was only really get out to see TQ2897 on the weekends and it variously rained or snowed on most of those days, stymieing my efforts and, with the cold weather, also ruining the much hoped for early invertebrates season. It's ramped up tremendously since though and this week I've added a further 20 species.
Most of the square is acid grassland and woodland with a lot of disturbance and trampling, I really had to hunt around for some of these quite common species (I still haven't even found Red Dead-nettle within the square!):

  • Crack Willow
  • Common chickweed
  • Garlic Mustard
  • Charlock
  • Honesty
  • Hairy Bitter-cress
  • Wavy Bitter-cress
  • Creeping Buttercup
  • Field Buttercup
  • Common Groundsel
  • Yarrow
  • Coltsfoot
  • Daisy
  • Lesser Celandine
  • Wood Anemone
  • Wood Sorrel
  • Ivy-leaved Speedwell
  • Sweet Vernal Grass
  • Field Wood-rush

I got working on mosses and liverworts some more in the meantime (nearly all lifers for me):

  • Forked Veilwort, Metzgeria furcata
  • Dilated Scalewort, Frullania dilatata
  • Mueller’s Pouchwort, Calypogeia muelleriana
  • Variable-leaved Crestwort, Lophocolea heterophylla
  • Pellucid Four-tooth Moss, Tetraphis pellucida
  • Common Pocket-moss, Fissidens taxifolius
  • Heath Star-moss, Camypylopus introflexus
  • Silky Forklet-moss, Dicranella heteromalla
  • Wood Bristle-moss, Orthotrichum affine
  • White-tipped Bristle-moss, Orthotrichum diaphanum
  • Crisped Pincushion, Ulota crispa
  • Grey-cushioned Grimmia, Grimmia pulvinata
  • Great Hairy Screw-moss (what a name!), Syntrichia ruralis (ssp. ruralis)
  • Wall Screw-moss, Tortula muralis
  • Bank Haircap, Polytrichastrum formosum
  • Juniper Haircap, Polytrichum juniperinum
  • Capillary Thread-moss, Bryum capillare
  • Cape Thread-moss, Orthodontium lineare
  • Neat Feather-moss, Pseudoscleropodium purum
  • Heath Plait-moss, Hypnum jutlandicum
  • Pointed Spear-moss, Calliergonella cuspidata

I’m still hunting around for the Bonfire Moss, Funaria hygrometrica, which I’ve found elsewhere in the Park but not in my 1ksq yet.

Ulota crispa - cameraphone photo taken through hand-lens

Tetraphis pellucida - with gemmae receptacle


I’m fairly confident I have a fungal tick with Illosporiopsis christiansenii growing on a Physcia sp. I went back to take a second look at it after reading up on it and it definitely had a messy, grainy texture as opposed to the coralline shape of Marchandiomyces corallinus.

  • Cerylon histeroides (small beetle from under pine bark) 
  • Cerylon ferrugineus (another small beetle also under pine bark)
  • A Histerid which I believe is Paromalus flavicornis (a ~2mm beetle found alongside the beetle above.) 
  • Rhizophagus bipustulatus (a bark beetle and also found under pine bark)
  • Harlequin ladybird (also under pine bark)
  • Loricera pilicornis – a fairly common ground beetle; fell out of a tree and dropped right in front of me!  
  • Abax parallelepipedus (a largeish ground beetle)
  • Rhagium mordax - a longhorn beetle
  • Oulema obscura - a leaf beetle
  • Anthocoris nemorum  – a flower bug swept off of holly
  • Common Shore Bug, Saldula saltatoria
  • Balclutha punctata (a leafhopper)
  • Eurysa lineataplanthopper nymph swept from grass
  • Cacopsylla sp. - a psyllid and another annoying complex where the male is needed to ID
  • A tachinid fly that I’m reasonably confident is Gonia picea.
  • Eristalis pertinax
  • Bibio johannis
  • Dyseriocrania subpurpurella (micromoth)
  • Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris
  • Red-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus lapidarius
  • Common Carder Bee, Bombus pascuorum

Rhagium mordax

I’m really looking at these too early for most species but it’s a group I’m unfamiliar with so the practice of getting down to genus has been useful:
  • Amaurobius fenestralis (under birch bark)
  • Pardosa sp. – lots of these running around in the leaf litter right now. All I’ve found is immature males so far.
  • Clubiona sp. – hiding in pine bark.
  • Araniella sp. (with a lovely parasitoid wasp grub nestled between cephalothorax and abdomen right where the spider can’t do a thing about it. Probably Polysphincta tuberosa)
Nature at its cutest.

Also found Aceria ilicis (mite) galls on Quercus ilex nearby so will be hunting for that on the ornamental Holm Oak I’ve been ignoring up till now.

The Mute Swans finally wandered over the square’s border in the lower lake and have popped onto the list. Also Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush (finally), Skylark and Pied Wagtail were new for the patch and 4 buzzards circling within one binocular view were pleasant features of the last weekend’s walk.

And a non-feathered vertebrate! Grass snake, Natrix natrix - very torpid so I got a nice close shot.

Lacking a key to the group, I'll have to leave the death-wish millipede as Polydesmus sp.

I’m now on 193 species (with full species level ID).

TM2499 Shotesham - into the 1K400 Club at last!

Sunday night and I should go to bed but need to do an update of this week. Steady progress, with some good warm nights in the middle of the week but a depressingly cold weekend just gone making it hard work. Still, 44 more bring me to my hoped-for end of April target of 400. (I'd kind of thought about 100 per month would be nice, leaving the last two months for mopping up, but fell behind seriously in March). Still missing Willow Warbler though! Here's the new ones anyway:

Late entries:
357 Trochosa ruricola - a spider I'd struggled with but sorted at last thanks to advice from Iain Downie. Was thrown by the Collins key saying that Lycosidae had four small equal-sized eyes at the front - these didn't look all that small or equal-sized to me. Clearly the beast though.
358 Diurnea fagella - classic spring micro-moth, appeared at the trap shortly after writing last week's blog post.

Monday 22nd:

Tuesday 23rd:
359 Creeping Buttercup - at last in flower, I've been ignoring the leaves
360 Eristalis pertinax - several of this hoverfly out this week
361 Platycheirus albimanus - one netted at forget-me-nots in garden, always a very common hoverfly here
362 Melinda gentilis - a small bluebottle netted from forget-me-nots in garden. Tricky one this, but reasonably confident. Have kept specimen and asked local expert whether he needs to see it.
363 Two-spot Ladybird - one walked past the kettle!
364 Common Carder Bee - lots this week
365 Engrailed - moth trap
366 Double-striped Pug - moth trap
367 Powdered Quaker - moth trap
368 Depressaria heraclei - moth trap

Wednesday 24th:
369 Cormorant - a fly-over, the most excitement I've ever had from a cormorant (not a lot still).
370 Horse-chestnut Leaf-miner - first one on the trunk of a large tree in the village that has them each year - several weeks late this year.
371 Thale Cress - in flower on verge
372 Waved Umber - moth trap
373 Frosted Green - moth trap
374 Early Tooth-striped - moth trap - garden tick and my 2nd ever, perhaps the first record for TM29.
375 Harpalus rufipes - carabid by moth trap which I keyed as this multiple times but caused me trouble as it seemed the wrong colour, until Mark Telfer kindly explained about teneral ones being paler.
376 Buttoned Snout - moth trap - a good one to see, although reasonably common round here
377 The Streamer - moth trap
378 Nut-tree Tussock - moth trap

Thursday 25th:
379 Dove's-foot Cranesbill - in flower on verge
380 Cowslip - in flower by pond, looked a bit plastic but seen subsequently elsewhere
381 Meadow Vetchling - leaves only so far
382 Field Horsetail - fertile (brown) stems popping up
383 Wood Forget-me-not - garden variety found naturalised on other side of the road from our house
384 Early Thorn - moth trap
385 Brindled Pug - moth trap

Friday 26th:
386 Common Mouse-ear - got bored seeing this around the place and waiting for it to flower
387 Germander Speedwell - first flowers

Saturday 27th:
388 Bluebell - confirmed one with white pollen so not a hybrid - there are decent patches across the square border too
389 Parsley-piert - stupid little plant with a daft name, but chuffed to notice this at last! In a fallow field. Teeny weeny green flower!
390 Field Forget-me-not - same field
391 Phyllonorycter spinicolella - netted from a cherry-plum hedge. Bit confused as it looks spot on cf the photo on ukmoths (greyish) but MBGBI2 says it should be an orangey one (as per photo on Norfolk Moths website). Don't know how variable colour might be. May get it looked at more closely, but this species easy later as miner anyway.
392 Melanostoma scalare - another common small hoverfly
393 Cyclosa conica - little spider netted from Dog's Mercury in a small wood - odd pointy back end
394 Andrena flavipes - finally plucked up courage to name an Andrena and photo confirmed by recorder so happy!
395 White Bryony - in garden
396 Sycamore - small saplings finally sprouting leaves

Sunday 28th:
397 Cuckoo-flower - but still no Cuckoo
398 Marsh Valerian - just coming out on damp areas of the common
399 Silverweed - leaves on the common
400 Broad-leaved Pondweed - in the lower section of the main ditch. Always been a bit scared of pondweed ID cos there's so many of them, but this was actually quite easy.

Plenty more in pots or on my desk as scraps of vegetation (including two sedges, gulp!)

Male Andrena flavipes - note the prominent pale bands on the abdomen

Early Tooth-striped - not the most exciting looking moth but pleasing all the same

Dark-edged Bee-fly - cool or what?

Horse-chestnut Leaf-miner - stunning micro-moth

Cyclosa conica (I think - any other thoughts welcome)

Flower of Parsley-Piert, how pointless is that?

And finally, crazy weevil. Maybe Curculio? Don't have the book and haven't kept it - don't suppose it can be named from the photo?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

SP5595ish Update

After a burst of action in the week, this weekend has been a bit slow with a return to cooler and windier conditions and the moth-traps left in the shed. Still managed to add a few bits and I'm up to 326 (taking into account reversing White-tailed Bumblebee to an aggregate).

Field Horsetail

Taxon Vernacular Date Added
326 Barbarea vulgaris Winter-cress 28/04/2013
325 Equisetum arvense Field Horsetail 28/04/2013
324 Cochlearia danica Danish Scurvygrass 28/04/2013
323 Conopodium majus Pignut 28/04/2013
322 Longitarsus dorsalis (beetle) 28/04/2013
321 Acer platanoides Norway Maple 28/04/2013
320 Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed 28/04/2013
319 Anthriscus sylvestris Cow Parsley 28/04/2013
318 Myosotis arvensis Field Forget-me-not 27/04/2013
317 Epuraea melanocephala (beetle) 26/04/2013
316 Bombus vestalis a bumblebee 26/04/2013
315 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (micromoth) 25/04/2013
314 Formica fusca Black Wood Ant 25/04/2013
313 Pogonocherus hispidulus Greater Thorn-tipped Longhorn Beetle 25/04/2013
312 Entomobrya multifasciata (springtail) 25/04/2013
311 Larinioides cornutus (spider) 25/04/2013
310 Bibio johannis (fly) 25/04/2013
309 Phaedon cochleariae Mustard Beetle 25/04/2013
308 Nedyus quadrimaculatus Small Nettle Weevil 25/04/2013
307 Filipendula ulmaria Meadowsweet 25/04/2013
306 Hyacinthoides hispanica Spanish Bluebell 25/04/2013
305 Propylea quattuordecimpunctata 14-spot Ladybird 25/04/2013
304 Exochomus quadripustulatus Pine Ladybird 25/04/2013
303 Chrysolina americana Rosemary Beetle 25/04/2013
302 Otiorhynchus sulcatus Vine Weevil 25/04/2013
301 Sylvia communis Common Whitethroat 25/04/2013
agg. Simulium sp. (fly) 24/04/2013
300 Chrysoperla carnea (lacewing) 24/04/2013

Norway Maple blossom

Common Carder Bee

Here's a quick breakdown of the total:

Bird 58
Vascular Plant 57
Moth 35
Beetle 24
Lichen 21
Fungi 17
Fly 16
Spider 14
Mollusc 13
Bee 8
Moss 8
Bug 6
Springtail 6
Butterfly 5
Woodlouse 5
Hoverfly 4
Ant 3
Mammal 3
Millipede 3
Centipede 2
Harvestman 2
Leafhopper 2
Wasp 2
Worm 2
Algae 1
Amphibian 1
Bristletail 1
Earwig 1
Fish 1
Lacewing 1
Liverwort 1
Psyllid 1
Sawfly 1
Slime Mould 1


Agg. 9

Nursery Web Spider

TG2507: Brief update

27th April 2013

Not much to add to my list since the last update (I still haven't turned to small invertebrates), but a few extra birds, the best of which was Arctic Tern, plus hirundines, Swift and common warblers.

In terms of plants, Common Field Speedwell,  Bluebell, Garlic Mustard and Wood Forget-me-not are all now in flower.

Total: 119.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Foulsham update

My list is currently lodging at 342 species, with a few new plants today, although too cold for much in the way of flying insects. The small annual species like thale cress are now flowering, and whitlow grass is already going over. I thought it might be interesting to break down thre 342 into species groups. I'm sure everyone has their own specialism, mine being plants, birds and moths, so I reckon my list is probably already biased in that direction:

Amphibian - 3
Bird - 70
Bristletail - 1
Bryophyte - 16
Diptera - 2
Fish - 3
Fungi - 1
Hymenoptera - 10
Lacewing - 1
Lepidoptera - 34
Lichens - 7
Mammal - 6
Earwig - 1
Mollusc - 10
Spider - 7
Vascular plant - 166
Woodlouse - 2
Worm - 1

Of course, to get to 1000 species, I will have to make further serious forays into groups I know very little about. That's just fine. That is what I want to get from this challenge, more breadth!

Friday, April 26, 2013

TQ6410: Birds and the bees and a Castle through the trees ....

A few more bits and pieces over the past week followed by a great day out around the square yesterday - courtesy of the Herstmonceux Castle Estate whose 600ha are right alongside my plot and extend into adjoining 1km squares to the south and east. Was allowed to extend my search for new species around the wonderful Castle grounds (moat, lake, woods, meadows, wetland) in summer weather (21C) and to go back again yesterday evening to check out the bats. The latter were interesting but we didn't find any Daubenton's surprisingly so will have to wait for a couple of other recordings at around 19, 22 and 25khz to be analysed first. The intriguing ones were a pair flying around 5m up that didn't show up on either of the detectors.
410 - Ivy-leaved Speedwell Veronica hederifolia - on the plant bench growing out of pea-beach shingle
411 - Tapered Drone Fly Eristalis pertinax  - along the sheltered wet woodland edge with Eristalis tenax 
412 - Hoverfly  Eupeodes luniger - along the wet woodland edge with many drone flies
413 - Lesser Whitethroat - just inside the Castle grounds by the bridleway
414 - Reed Warbler – in the Castle’s little pond by the bridleway (just inside the square)
415 - Tree Bumblebee  Bombus hypnorum along bridleway by the Castle (on Ground Ivy)

416 - Lapwing – flying over the arable field just south of the Church
417 - Red Currant  Ribes rubrum - naturalised in the far corner of the rookery wood 

418 - Alder Fly  Sialis lutaria – found on a fence post on the plot - dodgy??

419 - Common Carder Bumblebee Bombus pascuorum – at the plot
420 - Cuckoo  - calling as it flew overhead near the plot
421- Red Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe spadicearia – an involuntary day-flyer in dappled sunshine around the parking area 
422 - Green-veined White  Pieris napi – flew up the front driveway at the plot
423 - Field Horsetail  Equisetum arvense by the plot’s front gate
424 - Garden Bumblebee Bombus hortorum  crawling along the ground in between Ground Ivy flowers
425 - Hollyhock Rust  Puccinia malvacearum -  on Common Mallow in the wild flower bank at the plot 
426 - Fleabane  - Pulicaria dysenterica first new leaves hugging the ground by the plot’s front gate 
427 - Moth Eriocraniidae sangii  (thanks to Skev’s ID of this micro’s family/group) 


428 - Shoulder Stripe  Anticlea badiata 
429 - Engrailed Ectropis crepuscularia
25/5  Herstmonceux Castle grounds yesterday - some new flora (in no particular order) for the square:
430 - Barren Strawberry Potentilla sterilis 
431 - Hemp Agrimony   Eupatorium cannabinum
432 - Ramsons  Allium ursinum
433 - Wood Sage  Teucrium scorodonia
434 - Wood Spurge  Euphorbia amygdaloides
435 - Wood Speedwell  Veronica Montana
436 - Persian Speedwell  Veronica persica
437 - Broom  Cystus scoparius

438 - Lousewort   Pedicularis sylvatica (above)
439 - Sharp Dock   Rumex conglomeratus
440 - Lesser Periwinkle  Vinca minor
441 - Wild Wallflower Cheiranthus cheiri  (well-established growing out of the castle wall by the moat)
442 - Pellitory-of-the-wall Parietaria officinalis   (ditto)
443 - Red Valerian  Centranthus ruber  (ditto)
444 - Ground Elder Aegopodium podagraria  (at the base of the wall)
445 - Water Forget-me-not  Myosotis palustris
446 - Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis  (naturalised on the edge of some wetland by the Castle’s upper lake)
447 - Tormentil  Potentilla erecta 
448 - Rough Hawkbit  Leontodon hispidus (leaves -  and mining bee - in a dry bank)
449 - Mouse-ear Hawkweed  Hieracium pilosella (ditto)
450 - Sweet Vernal Grass  Anthoxanthum odoratum (flowers just opening up)
451 - Greater Pond Sedge  Carex ripara (ditto)
452 - Water Horsetail Equisetum fluviatile (throughout a smaller pond)
453 - Broad Buckler Fern Dryopteris austriaca
454 - Springy Turf-moss  Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus (so many others too)
455 - Weeping Willow  Salix babylonica near the upper lake (ignored all the other trees for now as part of it's a sort of arborethum .... any takers for Chinese Juniper?? Even the 300 year old Sweet Chestnuts are in a sort of a line)

Other bits and pieces around the Castle grounds yesterday:
456 - Early Mining Bee  Andrena haemorrhoa
457 - Common Pond Skater or Water Strider Gerris lacustris (on lhs in pic)
458 - Pond Skater Aquarius najas rhs in pic (seen/photo’d side by side Gerris lacustris)

459 - Water Beetle Colymbetes fuscus (almost leapt/flew on to my lap while I was scoffing a sandwich by the lake).  Don't hold out too much hope of three good beetle ID's in a row. Also tripped over another Minotaur Beetle on my plot.

460 - 24-spot Ladybird  Subcoccinella  24-punctata

461 - Brimstone  Gonepteryx rhamni  (nectaring on dandelion by the wet woodland near the upper lake)

462 - Fallow Deer Dama dama  (wild herd of eight disappeared into the misty woodland early a.m.)
463 - Pigmy Shrew  Sorex minutus  (foraging in and out of leaf litter)
464 - Common Carp Cyprinus carpio (surfacing in the Castle’s upper lake as well as the moat)

464 species ..... and a few more things still to sort out ..... including another visit soon!

p.s.  the Castle grounds' bird list on the day was 44 species (incl. the four Egyptian Geese which are still there) ..... but nothing new yesterday for the square's list .... which is currently on 80 species.