Sunday, April 21, 2013

Another ripping weekend

So I wasn't really looking forward to this weekend, as I had to dogsit the wife's mad poodle thing, and last time I took it for a walk it got lost. Panlisting with a dog on a lead was not going to be easy, so devious means would have to be found to keyhole in the listing time. Anyway, the Friday moth trap was good, with a couple of lead-coloured drabs in with the more usual hebrew characters and early greys. The Saturday dog walk did produce whitethroat and common shrew, but the garden also had dark-edged bee fly and brimstone butterfly as well as the spider Cheiracanthium erraticum and an evening chucking red-legged partridge. All new, all nice.

Sunday started with a frost like Saturday, but I had an hour with children otherwise occupied (riding and homework) to go for a wander. I had a pond in mind, which I had scoped from the back garden, but had never actually been to. It's on private land, but not far off a disused railway line and public footpath, and I figured I could fairly claim to be lost if challenged. Anyway, the pond and the meadow which it occupies are real habitat - semi-improved damp grassland with some cattle poaching round the pond and some really good plants - marsh bedstraw, broad-leaved pondweed, meadow buttercup, lesser spearwort. And a curlew flew up from the neighbouring field while I was there, only the third I've ever seen round these parts.

The sunny day lent itself to more outdoors with the kids, and we managed four bumblebee species, three butterflies and a day flying moth Diurnea fagella before the evening cool set in. Also, shoaling three-spined stickleback and chub in the stream while playing poohsticks. Overall, 31 new species, taking me to 316. That's not counting the dog, of course.

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