Thursday, February 28, 2013

The North calling

Waldridge Co. Durham

Thought I'd jump aboard if only to show there is life to the north, hopefully 1000 different sorts.
NZ2549 is my chosen my square  basically because that's the square I live in and I've been running a moth trap there for many years so I expect it to be a major contributor. The square includes as well as my house, Waldridge Fell and some wet to very wet birch and alder woodland. The Fell is an SSSI  and a Country Park. It's also perhaps the largest dog toilet in the north east but more importantly one of only a few and perhaps the largest, lowland heath in the county. Also Wanister Bog, the only valley-mire in lowland County Durham. The square has perhaps the only debatably wild Royal Fern in the county as well as Dingy Shell and Green Hairstreak and there's been 3 records of Red-tipped Clearwing (none by me but I've got my lures ready)

I only noticed the challenge mid month but started straight away.  Great idea I thought, should soon catch up a bit. A week later the whole square was under 4 inches of snow whilst others were getting their first amphibians, primroses in flower etc. I then started to think I was a bit hasty but being an optimist (at least at the moment) I'll carry on.

I have been birding for a very long time and looking at vascular plants for quite a while. Butterflies and dragonflies followed and then the moth trapping started. The last couple of years I've been looking at hoverflies (after an excellent weekend course we arranged) and bryophytes.

I'm doing ok considering the late start and weather I suppose and may well hit that 1K mark. The reason being I have been logging the flora of my patch since I moved here in late 1990s and have recorded 461 species. So a few have become extinct and some are mere casuals but surely 400 is obtainable as I know where most of them are. Plants tend not to move much.  My moth list for the garden and a few additional ones elsewhere in the square is a just a few less so the 1000 must be obtainable. There's me being optimistic again.
 So my predictions

 To date Anticipated
Birds   43 70
Vascular Plants   43 400
Mosses & Liverworts  6 50
Lichens   5 12
Fungi & Slime Moulds   5 20
Terrestrial Mammals   2 8
Butterflies   0 20
moths   0 350
Dragonflies   0 9
Hoverflies   0 25
Other inverts   0 50
Amphibians & Reptiles   0 5

TOTAL 104 1019

So,  I'm on (only) 104,  well behind my southern cousins and not one invertebrate. Though this is not surprising as there is still patches of snow in the back garden and elsewhere. Never the less, I've done a little predicting, [fatal mistake] and there's hope. So far I have not seen a great deal and nothing really surprising. 3 Woodcock last weekend in and because of the snow, were nice but to be expected, a small party of Crossbill were not and so far the best birds.

So wish me luck, I think I might need it

Not counted, honest

Keith Robson
Waldridge NZ2549, vc 66.

1 comment:

  1. Best of luck Keith - great to get someone a bit further north on board.

    Now - Scotland?