Monday, April 24, 2017

NT1582, Dalgety Bay, Fife - Zombie Crab

After adding a handful of not-particulary-interesting microfungi and another couple of flies I was able to make a low tide foray on Sunday morning. First Common Terns of the year were screeching around Hopeward Point and I eventually found this young Edible Crab ...

I don't expect to see Spirobranchus worm on the top of a baby crab so I turned it over and ...

there it was -  Sacculina carcini - the parasitic barnacle, noted to be common in Green Shore Crab population, but apparently also in Edible Crab. The Collins field guide had this curious comment: "We only include this species for completeness as undoubtedly everyone in the British isles is already familiar with it". How very odd ... I guess I'm the last then.

484 Cepaea hortensis White-lipped Snail
485 Linaria cannabina Linnet
486 Parasyrphus punctulatus A hoverfly
487 Scathophaga stercoraria A fly
488 Ascochyta mercurialis A fungus
489 Peyronellaea curtisii A fungus
490 Anthostomella rubicola A fungus
491 Colletotrichum dematium A fungus
492 Sterna hirundo Common Tern
493 Sacculina carcini A barnacle

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Aberbargoed - Graig

524..Coreus marginatus – Dock Bug
525..Puccinia urticata (Fungus)
526..Ommatoiulus sabulosus (Millipede) Looked to be under most of what i turn over, they seem to have appeared out of no where

527..Prunus avium – Wild Cherry
528..Helvella acetabulum (Fungus) Lifer...found under Hazel in small wooded area.

529..Prunus laurocerasus – Cherry Laurel
530..Phytomyza ilicis – Holly Leaf Gall
531..Rumex crispus – Curled Dock
532..Barypeithes pellucidus (Beetle) Under discarded carpet on an old bottle tip.

533..Gonioctena olivacea (Beetle) Several seen on Broom.

534..Columella aspera (Snail)
535..Entomobrya intermedia (Springtail)
536..Peyronellaea curtisii (Fungus) Lifer...Thanks for this one Seth. :)

537..Lathronympha strigana (Moth caterpillar...St Johns Wort) Several seen in spun leaf tips.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

And County Durham passing 400

Thats the 400 mark passed, the days (and nights)  have started started to warm up a bit, the moth numbers are increasing, plantlife and insects generally are beginning to emerge and the weather forecast.... . Snow on Tuesday!

Here's where I am at the moment

Keith Robson
Waldridge (VC66)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Skye - Passing 500

Well I finally managed it, the 500th species in NG3963 fell yesterday afternoon. I had a day off work and decided I wasn't coming back until 500 had been achieved. First addition at number 498 was this

Nettle Clustercup Rust Puccinia urticata  on Common Nettle
This was followed by the common moss Mnium hornum which I've just overlooked. And the 500th? Bit of a bolt from the blue and not at all expected, a Grey Seal spyhopping in the bay! I'd heard that a bull sometimes follows the fishing boats into the pier (outside my square) but boom! There he was across this side just lazing around. No pics, too far away to be worth pointing my clickamatic at him.

Also in the bay was a lone Greenshank picking through the debris at the water's edge, they breed on Skye so I expect this individual won't be the last one I see.

I managed to find not one but two Arion ater beneath stones, black colouration and fringe lines running into the pale sole clinching ID for me

Arion ater - where have they all been hiding?
The remaining four additions were all microfungi, with two of them being lifers for me. Here's the first one

Puccinia primulae on Primrose leaf. Apparently common but new for me
Uromyces ficariae was found in quantity on a patch of Lesser Celandines

Uromyces ficariae - spores checked just to be sure
The next lifer was parasitising Marsh Marigolds growing in a tiny freshwater seepage in grasses at the top of the beach. I'm more used to seeing these plants in woodland habitats, not in the middle of an open field.

Ramularia calthae on Marsh Marigold - the spores are very thin and elongated (and difficult to photograph!)
Additions since last update as follows:

486 - Trombidium holosericeum Red Velvet Mite (arachnid) - Lifer
487 - Butterbur (plant)
488 - Ommatoiulus sabulosus Striped Millipede (myriapod)
489 - Wild Thyme (plant)
490 - Eisenia foetida Brandling Worm (annelid)
491 - Agonopterix heracliana (moth)
492 - Common Sandpiper (bird)
493 - Swallow (bird)
494 - Blackcap (bird)
495 - Common Dog Violet (plant)
496 - Fringecups (plant)
497 - Campaea margaritaria Light Emerald (moth)
498 - Mnium hornum (moss)
499 - Puccinia urticata (microfungus) - Lifer
500 - Grey Seal (mammal)
501 - Ramularia calthae (microfungus) - Lifer
502 - Greenshank (bird)
503 - Arion ater (mollusc)
504 - Puccinia primulae (microfungus) - Lifer
505 - Trochila craterium (microfungus)
506 - Uromyces ficariae (microfungus)

Still waiting for that mass-emergence of inverts and flowering plants. The Fringecups was new for the hectad and only the 5th record for Skye. Even better, the carpet of Ground-ivy I found some weeks back is the first record in Uig for decades and just the 6th post-2000 record for the entire vice county! I think the BSBI recorder is quite pleased thus far.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


My last two jobs have been in my square. Slightly disappointed that I've not added anything to my list from these gardens....need to look harder?

513..Phrurolithus festivus (Spider)
514..Pirapion immune (Beetle)
515..Aglaostigma aucupariae (Sawfly)

516..Polydrusus tereticollis (Beetle) Found on old Bracken stem, which it blended in well with Bracken map.

517..Sminthurus viridis (Springtail)
518..Altica lythri (Beetle)
519..Ecdyonurus torrentis (Mayfly) Oddly found this one on my living room window...indoors.

520..Lepisma saccharina (Silverfish) Found in the bath

521..House Martin
522..Bombus pascuorum (Bee)
523..Human (Wayne Collins...he's wild as Whimberries)

Dalgety Bay Fife - Lunchtimus mirabilis

It was 50/50 whether I finally caught up with gym time or went outside at lunchtime. Fortunately I went to bed too late last night to be bothered with the gym and it was sunny into the bargain.

Headed straight for the blackthorns where I had caught and then lost a lovely tachinid yesterday, which I'm pretty certain was Paracraspedothrix montivaga, a species I have recorded in the square last year. Anyway ... First to catch my eye were Peacock butterflies chasing up and down the upper shore, before I spotted an all dark large hoverfly on the strandline. Could it be?

A swing ... and a miss. Fly escapes. Next it, or another of the same, shows up on a blackthorn flower but in a tricky spot. A swing ... and a miss. Aaaaargh!

Suddenly from the strandline a large beetle burst onto the wing and I thought I was in for my first carrion beetle of the year. But no! What the bejeesus is this?! A fantastic Creophilus maxillosus, a big furry staph of similar magnitude to the Devil's Coach Horse only all fancy-likes with a fur coat. What a beauty! This is a quick record shot and the distribution map for the species as per NBN (I happen to know it HAS been recorded in Fife). In case you don't know where I am, it's just above Edinburgh in that vast white record desert ;)

After a ten minute stalk I did manage to catch not one but two Eristalins aeneus, first for mainland Fife and a fly I've been longing to see for a long time. For completeness the pic and map for that species too.

Latest numbers:

475 Phaonia subventa A muscid fly
476 Melanostoma mellinum A hoverfly
477 Phylloscopus trochila Willow Warbler
478 Eristalinus aeneus A hoverfly
479 Creophilus maxillosus Carrion Beetle

Sand Point VC6

Been working through a mountain of bryophyte samples from a recent trip to Snowdonia so just a few additions lately but some nice ones all the same. Keep missing migrant birds that visitors have been reporting but still plenty of time to catch up. First butterflies added finally during last weeks warm spell.

Algae 7
Slime Mould 1
Lichen 49
Fungi 12
Bryophytes 64
Vascular Plants 92
Cnidarians 1
Molluscs 7
Arachnids 1
Myriapods 1
Crustaceans 3
Springtails 3
Hymenoptera 8
Coleoptera 17
Diptera 41
Butterflies 2
Moths 5
Birds 53
Mammals 5
Others 1
Total 373

Bibio anglicus

Gynnidomorpha vectisana

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A couple of hours at the woods

Absolutely gorgeous day in Cornwall today and I decided to spend a few hours at Kings Wood looking to start off my list properly and recorded the following :

11. Dock Bug - Coreus marginatus

12. Common Dog Violet - Plant
13. Navelwort - Plant
14. Cleavers - Plant
15. Holly Blue - Butterfly
16. Herb Robert - Plant
17. Honeysuckle - Plant
18. Lesser Celandine - Plant
19. Lords & Ladies - Plant
20. Noon Fly - Fly
21. Opposite-leaved Golden-Saxifrage - Plant
22. Pendulous Sedge - Plant
23. Wild Primrose - Plant
24. Soft Shield Fern - Plant
25. Wavy Bittercress - Plant
26. Great Tit - Bird
27. Chaffinch - Bird
28. Wren - Bird
29. Robin -  Bird
30. Chiffchaff - Bird
31. Willow Warbler - Bird
32. Blackcap - Bird
33. Sycamore - Plant
34. Grey Wagtail - Plant
35. Atlantic Ivy - Plant
36. Lesser Celandine - Plant
37. Holly - Plant
38. Winter Helitrope - Plant
39. Red Campion - Plant
40. Harts Tongue Fern - Plant
41. Goldfinch - Plant
42. Hemlock Water Dropwort - Plant
43. Ribwort Plantain - Plant
44. Common Nettle - Plant
45. Common Dandelion - Plant
46. Common Bluebell - Plant
47. Bitter Dock - Plant
48. Common Wasp -Wasp
49. Common Daisy - Plant
50. Mallard - Bird
51. Buzzard - Bird
52. Raven - Bird
53. Herring Gull - Bird
54. Goldcrest - Bird
55. Hogsweed - Plant
56. Himalayan Balsam - Plant
57. Blackbird - Bird
58. Song Thrush - Bird
59. Wood Pigeon - Bird
60. Great Spotted Woodpecker - Bird
61. Carrion Crow - Bird
62. Blue Tit - Bird
63. Yellow Archangel - Plant
64. Common Carder Bee - Bee
65. Speckled Wood - Butterfly
66. Silver Birch - Plant
67. Holy Blue - Butterfly
68. Buff-tailed Bumblebee - Bee
69. Bee Fly
70. English Oak - Plant
71. Hazel - Plant
72. Hawthorn - Plant
73. Scarlet Pimpernel - Plant
74. Foxglove - Plant
75. Ash - Plant
76. Pineapple Weed - Plant
77. Monterey Pine - Plant
78. Scots Pine - Plant
79. White Poplar - Plant
80. Self Heal - Plant
81. Blackthorn - Plant
82. Bracken - Plant
83. Meadow Buttercup - Plant
84. Creeping Buttercup - Plant
85. White Willow - Plant
86. Grey Willow - Plant
87. Elder - Plant
88. Ragwort - Plant
89. Red Clover - Plant
90. White Clover - Plant
91. Common Gorse - Plant
92. Elm - Plant

I also found this beetle under a rotting log which is most likely Nebria brevicollis.
After having a look online it seems Nebria brevicollis and Nebria salina are indistinguishable without examining the beetles under a microscope (or possibly a good hand lens). N. brevicollis has fine hairs on the dorsal surface of the hind tarsi which are absent in N. salina.

I also found these two which again need a good look under a microscope (which I don't have).



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dalgety Bay, Fife - Quickie easter update

Couple of nice surprise molluscs over the weekend. Oddly the Grey Sea Slug seems to be a lifer though I know for sure I have seen one before!

Also found were Sea Lemon eggs, helpfully shown in the Collins Shore guide.

Grey Sea Slug

King Scallop

Sea Lemon eggs


452 Platycheirus ambiguus A hoverfly (*)
453 Epistrophe elegans A hoverfly
454 Ceratinsostoma ostiorum A Scathophagid fly
455 Aeolidia papillosa Grey Sea Slug
456 Doris pseudoargus Sea Lemon
457 Sylvia atricapilla Blackcap
458 Pecten maximus King Scallop
459 Laminaria hyperborea Cuvie
460 Syrphus ribesii A hoverfly
461 Ommatoiulus sabulosus Striped Millipede
462 Arabidopsis thaliana Thale Cress
463 Silene uniflora Sea Campion
464 Sepsis fulgens A Sepsid Fly
465 Phaonia serva A muscid fly
466 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla Beautiful Plume
467 Buccinum undatum Common whelk
468 Bombus pratorum Early Bumble Bee

(*) First county record

Monday, April 17, 2017

Kings Wood - Cornwall - SX0048

Better late then ever I suppose - This site I have chosen is SXOO48 with a large proportion of it being taken  up by Kings Wood which is owned by the Woodland Trust.

I quote from the website :

"This very appealing semi-natural ancient woodland dates back more than 400 years and offers a mix of native broad-leaves including oak, ash, sweet chestnut and beech together with areas of conifer planted in the 1960s and 70s.The wood lies on the west-facing side of the Pentewan Valley which runs roughly north-south from the town of St Austell to nearby Mevagissey. It forms a major part of the woodland that cloaks both sides of the valley, creating a prominent landscape feature in the local area with great scenic views across Cornwall’s south coast Look out for the rich ground flora, including splashes of vibrant bluebell in spring, heather and bilberry, which has led to the wood’s designation as a County Wildlife Site. Sections of woodland lie along the valley bottom, next to the St. Austell River, and the wet, marshy conditions provide a safe haven for species that love wetter areas such as willow and alder. The wood is also very important for wildlife and you may be lucky enough to spot some butterfly and moth species that are rare to Cornwall"

I conducted a quick walk yesterday and added a few species but I will be having a much longer and detailed look tomorrow (as I'm missing loads of obvious things).

1. Xylota segnis

 2. Syrphus ribesii

 3. Helophilus pendulus

4. Cheilosia illustrata

 5. Rhingia campestris
6. Spot Ladybird - Coccinella septempunctata
7. Large Red Damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphula

8. Orange Tip Butterfly - Anthocharis cardamines
9. Green-veined White - Pieris napi 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Aberbargoed - River

Had to pull away from work early to collect an interesting looking millipede from Emma Williams. It looks to be an Ommatoiulus sp of some sort but doesn't match anything currently on the British list...another interesting colliery spoil find. Having a couple of minutes to kill we went in search of the pignut rust. Didn't find any but several other rusts were found. 

Didn't cheat on the rusts as i made sure we both found some. :p

506..Halyzia sedecimguttata – Orange Ladybird
507..Anguis fragilis – Slow-worm
508..Pucciniastrum epilobii (Rust on Willowherb)
509..Puccinia aegopodii (Rust on Ground Elder)
510..Peronospora oerteliana (Downy mildew on Primrose)
511..Enteridium lycoperdon (False Puffball)
512..Kuehneola uredinis (Pale Bramble rust)
513..Centranthus ruber – Red Valerian

Aberbargoed - Mostly Tip

Hoping to get my garden moth trap back up and running within the next week or so. That should help keep the tally growing when i can't get out in the field.

490..Willow warbler
491..Cicindela campestris (Beetle)
492..Orchesella villosa (Springtail)
493..Myrmica rubra (Ant)
494..Veronica serpyllifolia - Thyme-leaved Speedwell
495..Plutella xylostella - Diamondback moth
496..Carlina vulgaris – Carline Thistle
497..Phlogophora meticulosa – Angle Shades (Caterpillar)
498..Molinia caerulea – Purple Moor Grass
499..Xysticus cristatus (Spider)
500..Meloderma desmazierii (Fungus)

From a garden i was working on in my square.
501..Curlew...flying over head.
502..Brown Rat.
503..Arctia caja – Garden Tiger (Caterpillar)
504..Andrena fulva (Miner Bee)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Skye - first half of April update

Blimey, been a while since I last updated, two weeks in fact. Slowed down a bit in April, it's been relatively cold and wet most days, only sunny while I'm busy at work. Still to see a butterfly and only seen half a dozen individual bees (of one species) in total. Warmth - need more warmth. I did see a White-tailed Eagle today, but it was over a mile south of the square. Still pretty bloody cool to see though!

Plants have been bursting forth and into my recognition zone. Turns out I've been wandering past a mature Wild Cherry and several Rowans without knowing it until the blossom appeared. 

Wild Cherry or Gean (also called Geen, Guin and Guean up here)
Had a few new microfungi, all on living leaves and all worth seeing too. Much nicer-looking than the Milesina genus I targeted in March. 

Peyronellaea curtisii on Daffodil leaf
Birds have been moving through on migration with the likes of Wheatear, White Wagtail, Sand Martins, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler all being additions (White Wag isn't counted on the tally) whilst Linnet, Starling, Razorbill and Merlin have also made an appearance on the list. 

Merlin - the epitome of the Record Shot...
Despite the generally cool conditions, I did manage to hit some warmth for about an hour or so. Lots of sudden invert activity (needless to say I'd left my net indoors) though I did encounter a loose nest of Drinker larva sunning themselves on dead grass stems

Drinker larva on unknown grass hosting unknown microfungus....
Nothing at all from the sea this past fortnight, tides are wrong at the moment to be very productive. It's also very exposed out there, big jess that I am. Here's a list of the additions. SLOWLY creeping closer to reaching that halfway mark.

454 - Thinobaena vestita (beetle - thanks to Mark Telfer for the ID suggestion) - Lifer
455 - Endrosis sarcitrella (moth)
456 - Meadowsweet (plant)
457 - Water Avens (plant)
458 - Rowan (plant)
459 - Willow Warbler (bird)
460 - Uromyces muscari Bluebell Rust (fungus)
461 - Puccinia tumida Pignut Rust (fungus) - Lifer
462 - Razorbill (bird)
463 - Chiffchaff (bird)
464 - Wheatear (bird)
465 - Euthrix potatoria Drinker (moth)
466 - Bracken (plant)
467 - Thale Cress (plant)
468 - Wild Cherry (plant)
469 - Slender Speedwell (plant)
470 - Larinoides cornutus (spider)
471 - Dove's-foot Crane's-bill (plant)
472 - Arctia caja Garden Tiger (moth)
473 - Sand Martin (bird)
474 - Peyronellaea curtisii Daffodil Leaf Scorch (fungus) - Lifer
475 - Glaucous Dog-rose (plant)
476 - Pterostichus niger (beetle)
477 - Pterostichus nigrita (beetle) - Lifer
478 - Octolasion cyaneum (earthworm)
479 - Hydroporus discretus (beetle) - Lifer
480 - Melampsora hypericorum Hypericum Rust (fungus) - Lifer
481 - Merlin (bird)
482 - Linnet (bird)
483 - Starling (bird)
484 - Notiophilus biguttatus (beetle)
485 - Meadow Vetchling (plant)

The weather forecast for the next six days is resolutely sticking at 7 or 8 degrees but the "feels like" temperature never gets above 4 and drops to -1 this Fri/Sat night. Best put the butterflies and beeflies on hold for another week I guess.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dalgety Bay, Fife - Green Day

Bit blowy here yesterday and almost a high tide too, so not much was to be made of sweeping or rock pooling/turning. The up side of this is that I had to pay attention to something else and I noticed a good handful of flowering plants that had emerged unnoticed in recent days.


448 Rumex crispus Curled Dock
449 Atriplex laciniata Frosted Orache
450 Prunus spinosa Blackthorn
451 Erodium cicutarium Common Stork's-bill
452 Botanophila fugax  A flower fly

Frosted Orache

Curled Dock


Common Stork's-bill

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Waldridge - a bit of sun helps

A bit of sun always helps and this weekend was no exception but from -0.8C overnight on Friday with only 1 hardy Common Quaker in the moth trap to a blistering 19.7C this lunchtime.

Here's a summary of the 357 to date.

Keith Robson
Waldridge NZ2549 (VC66)

Aberbargoed - Amblance station field

Was hoping for more but didn't count on the amount of dog walkers out and about earlier....dogs running around everywhere.

469..Rhyzobius litura (Beetle)
470..Anthocharis cardamines – Orange-tip
471..Pararge aegeria – Speckled Wood
472..Platybunus triangularis (Harvestman)
473..Sand Martin
475..Episyrphus balteatus (Hoverfly)
476..Vespa crabro – Hornet
477..Geranium lucidum – Shinning Cranesbill
478..Allium ursinum – Ramson
479..Formica fusca (Ant)
480..Urocystis ranunculi (Smut on Creeping Buttercup)
481..Hypericum tetrapterum - Square-stalked St John's-wort
482..Viola riviniana – Common Dog Violet
483..Vicia hirsuta – Hairy Tare
484..Vicia sativa – Common Vetch
485..Luzula campestris – Field Wood-rush
486..Lophodermium seditiosum (Fungi)
487..Nabis rugosus – Common Damsel Bug
488..Anotylus rugosus (Beetle)
489..Drusilla canaliculata (Beetle)

May try the tip after dinner?


Things have really slowed down for me due to work commitments, with only nine species being added to the list since last update.

Looks like i may get to have some free time today though, if i can get it square bashing is another thing?

460..Osmia bicornis (Red Mason Bee)
461..Altica palustris (Beetle)
462..Amara aenea (Beetle)
463..Hydra viridissima (Hydra)
464..Spirostomum ambiguum (Protist)
Spirostomum ambiguum swarming in garden pond...old photo.

465..Attagenus pellio (Beetle)
466..Bombus lapidarius (Bee)
467..Tachyporus dispar (Beetle)
468..Pieris napi - Green Veined White

Friday, April 7, 2017

Dalgety Bay, NT1582 - Sweeping Changes

Sweeping pathsides yesterday turned up quite a few species - flies, sawflies and bugs - though most of the flies are already listed as is the common Anthocorus bug. Bibio johannis was a new one to me, (and the species on the front of the Bibionidae key!) while I was surprised to find that the sawfly Aglaostigma aucupariae was already on my PSL list.

Bibio johannis

Aglaostigma aucupariae

Not a bad haul from yesterday then, with five new additions (plus a forgotten one!)

436 Phylloscopus collybita Chiffchaff
437 Fannia mollissima A lesser house fly
438 Bibio johannis A Bibionid fly
439 Triphleba lugubris A Phorid fly
440 Aglaostigma aucupariae A sawfly
441 Arion ater A slug

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

NT1582 - Dalgety Bay, Fife - Spring

A sunny day with a lowish tide but I couldn't get any traction on rock turning for some reason. Failed to find the great rock I turned yesterday and mostly found only Green shore Crabs. I didn't catch the same Sea Scorpion again as I figure it could use a break.

It was one of those days when you feel the season has changed. Bluebells were out all over though I swear I saw none yesterday! Calliphora were abundant on every sunny stone - vicina and vomitoria. And where last week there was a bee or two they are now buzzing here there and everywhere.

Keeps the numbers ticking along anyway. Soon individual pots will be replaced with a WatDon big ol' cannon pooter and my backlog of unidentified flies will start to look vaguely intimidating.

Tedious wildflower

Lovely Hopeward point

Latest numbers:
03/04/2017 426 Asterias rubens Common starfish
03/04/2017 427 Myoxocephalus scorpius Bull Rout
03/04/2017 428 Ascidiella scabra A sea squirt
03/04/2017 429 Syvicola fenestralis A fly
04/04/2017 430 Calliphora vomitoria Orange-bearded Bluebottle
04/04/2017 431 Hyacinthoides non-scripta Bluebell

Monday, April 3, 2017

Sand Point VC6

Still managing to push the list up from time to time:

Algae 7
Slime Mould 1
Lichen 49
Fungi 12
Bryophytes 64
Vascular Plants 88
Cnidarians 1
Molluscs 7
Arachnids 1
Myriapods 1
Crustaceans 3
Springtails 3
Hymenoptera 7
Coleoptera 11
Diptera 30
Moths 3
Birds 46
Mammals 4
Others 1
Total 339

Macquartia grisea with deformed wing

Symplecta stictica

Luffia ferchaultella

Friday, March 31, 2017

Championship results

Well I was never going to get into the big boys league of 400+ by March but I'm happy I might make the Championship playoffs with 300.

Here's my effort to date

Keith Robson
Waldridge NZ2549 (VC66)