Thursday, April 18, 2013

Eaton Bray SP9621ish

Really starting to feel competitive here and have tried to bump up my score, mostly by having a good walk round the square botanising. Have added 43 species since my last update on Tuesday, so now on 252.

My second butterfly species of the year was Small Tortoiseshell.

My first identified fly of the year was the Drone Fly Eristalis tenax today.

Drone Fly Eristalis tenax: black front tarsi, wide black stripe on face.
Two more birds, a flyover Siskin on Tuesday evening and a gronking Raven flying over today.

No mammals to add but I have seen a bat over the garden which will be the usual 45 Pip when I get the detector on it. But some amazement today to discover first a Badger latrine and then an actual sett! I really didn't think we got Badgers here but thanks to the 1ksq challenge I'm now looking properly and visiting parts of the square that, ahem, I haven't been to before.

Wednesday morning was grey, in more ways than one. I added Early Grey and Mottled Grey from the moth trap, the latter being a lifer for me (but then there are loads of holes in my moth list).

Mottled Grey (and unidentified Diptera!)
Early Grey

A couple of fungi added, thanks to info gleaned from others: Ramularia rubella spots on Broad-leaved Dock, and Colletotrichum trichella spots on Ivy leaves (Lifer).

My fourth bumblebee of the year was the Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum in the garden today.

I had another sieve of the compost heap but only added two more beetles: the histerid Carcinops pumilio and the monotomid Monotoma bicolor sensu stricto.

The rest is all common plants and they're too tedious to list except that I was really pleased to find some Dog's-mercury under an old hedge, and then even better some Salad Burnet at the edge of a pasture. It is years since I've done any real botanising and I can generally still recognise genera but not species, so it's been really good to start re-learning speedwells, crane's-bills, etc and I'm looking forward to keeping it up through the year.

So, I'm a quarter of the way there with my very ordinary bit of Bedfordshire countryside. But despite adding 56 species so far this week, 1000 seems a very long way off!

Is it possible to name the fungus causing this spot on Wild Privet leaves?


  1. Mark, great news re the badgers. They're in my square too, I may have seen some fur today. But maybe just dog (hyper abundant here). Your privet leaf spot; isn't it what you pointed out to me in March - Thedgonia (Cercospora) ligustrina?

    Soon be "longhorns on the hawthorn blossom season", then it'll be high summer and you'll run rampant through the next few hundred species. You'll whup the hell outta us amateurs in no time, you just watch!

  2. Seth, When I googled Thedgonia ligustrina it didn't seem so clear cut this time so I thought I'd see if anyone else can confirm it.

    And don't worry, there will be no list-rampaging from Eaton Bray. I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses but with no woodland, only one oak tree and no decent wetland, SP9621ish is never going to be a biodiversity hotspot! I've no chance of catching you.

  3. Mottled Grey - Eureka! Wondered what the battered little moth I had in my Barnfield trap was, had given up on it & there it is. Thanks Mark!

    The lower chironomid at least looks like it might be a Smittia. S. aterrima is quite common at the moment, particularly in the light traps though pratens is also a possibility...

  4. Thanks for the tips on the chironomids. I'd guessed they were chironomids but mentally labelled them as "impossibly difficult - ignore". But if there's one thing I keep learning from other pan-species listers it is that nothing is impossible and I shouldn't be such a coward when it comes to identifying flies, spiders and various other groups that are very thinly represented on my 1ksq list.