Monday, June 19, 2017

Sand Point VC6

Eventually dragged myself onto the patch this morning. One of the things I was hoping to find were some gone over Bee Orchids but couldn't find a single one. No matter, there was still plenty to keep me occupied. My only lifer this morning was Amblyjoppa fuscipennis nectaring on Umbellifers. Not often I can ID a hymenoptera but this one was in the Pisces Insects of Britain and Europe Book. Here's the list from the last post up to today:

648. Heliophanus cupreus
649. Helina impuncta
650. Empis caudatula
651. Dolichopus plumipes
652. Trixa conspersa
653. Speckled Bush Cricket
654. Common Froghopper
655. Sandy Carpet
656. Paederus littoralis
657. Greater Burdock
658. Phytomyza lappae
659. Volucella bombylans
660. Neria cibaria
661. Xysticus cristatus
662. Lucilia sericata
663. Sea Aster
664. Valerian
665. Greater Burdock
666. Puccinia dioicae
667. Bishops Mitre Shieldbug
668. Eurygaster testudinaria
669. Phaonia valida
670. Pherbina coryleti
671. Neomyia viridescens
672. Phyto melanocephala
673. Dolichopus ungulatus
674. Hydrophorus praecox
675. Mother of Pearl
676. Eucosma campoliliana
677. Bright-line Brown-eye
678. White Plume
679. Lady's Bedstraw
680. Thyme
681. Pyramidal Orchid
682. Biting Stonecrop
683. Sea Lavendar
684. Common Emerald
685. Marbled White
686. Chrysoteuchia culmella
687. Meadow Barley
688. Calameuta filiformis
689. Haematopota crassicornis
690. Common Centaury
691. Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea
692. Hemp Agrimony
693. Amblyjoppa fuscipennis
694. Coptotriche marginea
695. Field Bindweed
696. Nemotelus uliginosus
697. Slender St John's Wort
698. Oliarus leporinus


Nemotelus uliginosus

Lipara lucens

Melieria cana

Amblyjoppa fuscipennis

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dalgety Bay - Two thirds of the way

In an attempt to squeeze my target of 667 before heading off for a week or so I went for a brisk one hour romp through the coastal path with a headtorch. Last gasp n the way home I scored a surprise mammal. I was expecting it - just not yet. Also nice that it was alive!

I haven't mentioned it (because the pain is too fresh?) but this year a roe deer was BORN in my square, which I saw photos of later, and I failed to see dolphins which I heard about over the weekend. Gah! Still, there's plenty of year left and I have a low mammal target. Maybe a school of pilot whales will come to visit (again). Or even a humpback (again). Who knows?

Now at 48 species of moth, none of which have been caught in a moth trap. I have run a moth trap but it hasn't caught any species I didn't catch with a headtorch anyway. 





Numbers:
659 Eulithis prunata Phoenix
660 Korscheltellus fusconebulosa Map-winged Swift
661 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth
662 Perizoma flavofasciata Sandy Carpet
663 Xanthorhoe fluctuata Garden Carpet
664 Perizoma affinitata Rivulet
665 Dysstroma truncata Common Marbled Carpet
666 Erinaceus europaeus West European Hedgehog
667 Dolichopus claviger A long-legged fly


Edit: Colour Supplement!

668 Epistrophe grossulariae A Hoverfly
669 Argyresthia conjugella Apple Fruit Moth
670 Galium verum lady's bedstraw
671 Iris foetidissima Stinking Iris


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Past the 700 mark - a nice surprise

I was asked a few weeks ago to lead a Durham Wildlife Trust Botany Group outing on Waldridge Fell today,  so yesterday,  I did a little reconnaissance and today the group and myself spent a good 3 hours in a small bit of the square. We all seemed to enjoy it but it was only was I added them all up tonight I realised I had gone past the 700 mark - a nice surprise.





No moth trapping tonight and out of the square doing my National Plant Monitoring Scheme plots tomorrow and with some survey work on Thursday I'll not be adding any more to the totals for a few days.

Keith Robson
Waldridge (VC66)




Skye - Remotely Interesting

Bang! 700 has been passed.

Had a quick bimble into Uig Woods between shifts and bumped into one of the house-keeping staff wandering through on her way towards the shop. "What's that pretty tree called?" she asked. Turning around I was amazed to see a large Laburnum in full blossom - just kinda standing there looking all obvious and stuff. How the heck have I missed seeing THAT? No leafmines on it (though hardly any leafmines on anything up here yet, apart from various flies in Rumex/Ranunculus/Urtica, most of which I'm unsure of) but it's new to the tally.

Subtle as a brick - yet I've missed it until now!
Number 700 was Shepherd's Purse in an overgrown layby with Corn-spurrey all around. Finally, on my way back out of the woods, I spotted this very distinctive looking sedge

Looks distinctive enough even for me to ID
This is Remote Sedge and a lifer for me. Checking the BSBI map it isn't known from the top end of Skye so I've emailed the local recorder the details.

699 - Laburnum (possibly planted?)
700 - Shepherd's Purse
701 - Corn Spurrey
702 - Remote Sedge - Lifer

Monday, June 12, 2017

Dalgety Bay, Fife

Not the best pic in the world as I couldn't see the screen for glare. Tree Bumblebee is a recent colonist and not many records in Fife - no records apparent on NBN, though I know it's in a friend's nestbox in his garden and is not uncommon in the town.


Most of the other stuff isn't very interesting photo-wise, but here are the latest numbers:
646 Senecio jacobaea Common Ragwort
647 Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch
648 Tenthredo livida A sawfly
649 Enoplognatha ovata A spider
650 Dolichopus ungulatus A long-legged fly
651 Platycheirus angustatus A Hoverfly
652 Phaonia angelicae A muscid fly
653 Blastobasis lacticolella A micromoth
654 Coenosia tigrina A muscid fly
655 Bombus hypnorum Tree Bumblebee



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Skye - 24hr Mega Bash

As part of the madness that is PSL, yesterday I took part in Graeme Lyons' daft idea of a 24 hour megablitz event. Despite some fairly crappy weather (I never even swung my net once. Not once!) I managed to record 462 species. Then I realised I'd misread my own handwriting and skipped from 240 straight to 247 (my 0 in 240 looked like a 6, what can I say..) so the revised tally for the 24 hour period is 456. I also managed to record Flid Vole, whatever that is. I still have loads of dead stuff to key through so the tally will eventually rise, though Graeme's Rules state that any ID work needs to be completed on the day so they won't make it onto the tally even when I do identify them. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Before all that I added 30 species from my last update on 30th May. Lifers were a couple of Cantharis soldier beetles, three flies (a Doli, a feverfly and a leaf-mining larva), an exciting Psyllid and Spear Thistle Lacebug which was noted whilst strimming. I always carry pots now, no matter where I may be. 

Dolichopus popularis. I'd be popularis too with a genital package as large as that
Craspedolepta nebulosa - a Psyllid new to Scotland!!!
Excited with my 'new to Scotland' psyllid I contacted the local recorder who went out and also found it on Rosebay Willowherb. He told his hemiptera chap who said it's all over the place now, just that the maps haven't been updated in a while. Buggerit. 

Back to 10th June, the Big Day. I won't list all the new additions coz it'll be a long, long list. Essentially I added plenty of plants, a few moths, a few beetles, Noctule Bat, Blue Jellyfish, a coupla flies and other assorted oddities. Managed a grand total of ELEVEN lifers which was very pleasing. 

10th June at 0000hrs - time to start....
Species Number 2 (0003hrs) - Pale-shouldered Brocade - Lifer!
Dawn at 0430 with a rainbow overhead
Flid Vole, if the rain-splattered scrawl in my notebook is to be believed
Number 456 of the day: Map-winged Swift on the wall at 2354hrs.
All of that puts me up to 698 species, a tidy jump. Hoping to be 3/4 of the way there by month's end.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dalgety Bay, Fife - Moth try harder

Who needs a moth trap when you have a head torch, a net, and warm still weather? The missus went to sleep early so I went for an impromptu half hour walk around the square, which turned out a cracking list of lovely creatures. Bizarrely the addition of Foxglove Pug prompted me to notice I hadn't recorded Foxglove, which has been in flower for a good while now!

Still, it looks like I'm back into the tight tete-de-la-course. Until Christian declares 1000 next week, that is ...




The list additions:

631 Psallus ambiguus A bug
632 Campaea margaritaria Light Emerald
633 Pseudoips prasinana Green Silver-lines
634 Hypena proboscidalis Snout
635 Eupithecia pulchellata Foxglove Pug
636 Digitalis purpurea Foxglove
637 Camptogramma bilineata Yellow Shell
638 Tinea trinotella A micromoth
639 Crambus perlella A micromoth
640 Idaea biselata Small Fan-footed Wave
641 Byturus tomentosus A beetle
642 Eupeodes luniger A Hoverfly

Bee Orchids, Stonechats and Hoverating

After several days of wind and rain the list continues. Even the moth trap would have been a waste of time.

The highlight, nothing mega, only Bee Orchid. But the two puny specimens are a first for the monad and in a small area I regularly check for Dingy Skippers so there's no way I will have overlooked them in previous years. Also the, (my) pair of Stonechats have fledged two young


One of two pathetic specimens of Bee Orchid - but a first for the square

.

A pleasant day despite the wind and armed with my pooter I did my first real  bit of 'hoverating'  on the Hogweed. 

The list to date





Keith Robson
Waldridge (VC66)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sand Point VC6

Been back out on the patch and again concentrating mainly on the flies. It's starting to be a diptera patch year list at the moment with total of 131 as of today. This mornings highlights were Lipara lucens and an interesting Melieria which might turn out to be M.cana. Earlier this week I had two lifers from the car park puddle; Canace nasica and Parydra coarctata and a very nice Tachinid that was in fact a Sarcophagid Pierretia nigriventris.
Butterflies are on the up with Painted Lady the most recent addition. Last years unauthorised re-introduction of Glanville Fritillary looks to have been unsuccessful so far. Even if some do emerge I don't think I will count them.
Still not run the moth trap but numbers are racking up slowly but surely. I potted an interesting micro that could be Chrysoesthia sexguttella. Waiting for the guru David Agassiz to get back to me on that one. Be a nice lifer for me if it is.

613. Eristalinus aeneus
614. Chrysotoxum elegans
615. Coriomeris denticulatus
615. Sitona lineatus
616. Thecophora atra
617. Hedgerow Cranesbill
618. Coriomeris denticulatus
619. Macrophya ribis
620. Nomada flava
621. Hedge Woundwort
622. Scathophaga furcata
623. Chlorops pumilionis
624. Dasysyrphus albostriatus
625. Urophora solstitialis
626. Anaspis maculata
627. Closterotomus norwegicus
628. Cixius nervosus
629. Microplontus campestris
630. Parydra coarctata
631. Canace nasica
632. Pierretia nigriventris
633. Painted Lady
634. Red Twin-spot Carpet
635. Bactra lancealana
636. Yellow-tail
637. Cheddar Pink
638. Corizus hyoscyami
639. Melieria picta
640. Meadow Brown
641. Homoeosoma sinuella
642. Capsus ater
643. Psychoides filicivora
644. Cantharis nigra
645. Neocoenorrhinus aequatus
646. Chrysoesthia sexguttella
647. Lipara lucens

Canace nasica - note the upturned seta a feature for this group

Lipara lucens

Parydra coarctata

Pierretia nigriventris

Just about caught up

I was hoping to break the 600 barrier for the square by the end of May but missed out by just a few. It's been very busy since I got back (as May and June usually is) and with botanising outside the square quite a bit, I've have had little time to do updates but I think I've just about caught up.


 It's nice that the invertebrates are beginning to show and I need to put an effort in this month to get some more and hopefully some new ones. The same goes to get the 130 or so more plants that I still need and know they should be around if I look hard enough.


The moth trap is beginning to come into its own now and looking at the overnight catch (which I haven't checked yet and just covered it over as it's stotting down) I reckon I should have hit the 600 mark. I can see two new ones for the year just looking through the funnel.

So here's where I am /was at the end of May





So let flaming June begin ....  once it's stopped raining. I'm off now going to make a cuppa and check a few pots of creepy-crawlies thats in the fridge.


Keith Robson
Waldridge VC66