Sunday, December 30, 2012

Oh go on then .... SP5595(ish)

I first heard about this challenge in early December when Nick Moran came to talk to the Leics. & Rutland Ornithological Society. At that point, as far as I knew, it was going to be a personal quest and I didn't really give it any thought other than thinking that 1000 species in a 1km square could be quite straightforward - given the right square!

Once Andy declared his intentions publically, set up this blog and offered an open invite for others to join the challenge, I started thinking about it a bit more. After a fair bit of cogitating, pondering, checking and generally dithering, I've decided that I will give it a go. I will however state that whilst I still think 1000 in a 1km square is perfectly do-able, I genuinely don't think I'll be doing it in my chosen square - my home square. There are several reasons why my home square is not the best for this challenge - not least that it is mainly sub-urban housing on the edge of bland farmland with the M1 splitting it. Because of the M1, and to at least try and improve the habitat diversity to include a small brook, I've shifted the square 500m east (hence SP5595 ish). I posted a bit about the challenge and my chosen square on my blog.

I've decided to have a go for a few reasons: to add some incentive to getting out locally in all seasons; to challenge myself to find and ID more 'difficult' stuff; to re-invigorate my garden mothing (2012 has been pants), and to force a bit of discipline in getting my MapMate records entered in real-time. Whilst I will be giving it a fair go, I will also state that this will not stop me visiting other sites in VC55 and around the UK as and when. Since I worked out my pan-species list in late 2011 I've developed a habit of wanting to see, ID and photograph more new things!

I'll be relying on the garden moth traps accounting for c45% of the total, hopefully including bits like this one from this year:

Allygus modestus, Whetstone 19/08/2012, taken at 125W MV light


  1. Hi Mark, Jennifer Owens found 7000+ species in her suburban Sheffield garden! So you are probably right, every one km sq will have 1000 if you have the patience and the knowledge.

    Good Luck.

  2. Seven THOUSAND????? Are you sure? Seven hundred perhaps......

  3. Eh - Jennifer Owen lives/d (not sure if she's still with us) in Leicester (Scraptoft Lane)and didn't actually record that many, though she put in a stirling effort over 30years:

    Some bright spark has extrapolated her total using a finger in the air, log calculator, tea leaves in a cup and a sprinkling of fairly dust.

  4. Sorry, its 2,600 species in her garden...she concluded that you could eventually get up to 7,000 ? ( Per Ken Thompson in 'No Nettles Required')