Friday, April 19, 2013

Update from TM0025 in Colchester

First of all I must thank Chris Shortall for his helpful comments in response to my first post, so I now know that I cannot count dandelion and bramble. Thus, my first posting’s total should be 24, not 26. Thank you Chris, no I really mean it!

Since then, I have not exactly had the opportunity to do intensive fieldwork as some others have done, although spring has arrived in my square, and this has helped. I notice that some of my acquaintances have suddenly become very competitive. I don’t want to sound defeatist, but for me the pleasure of this exercise will be the education that it provides, as I am forced to think about and identify many species that I have not previously taken much trouble over. I hope that is within the rules too!

Here are the additions to my list, in no particular order:

25.  Mallard.
26.  Mute Swan.
27.  Moorhen.
28.  Lesser Celandine, Ranunculus ficaria.
29.  Pied Wagtail.
30.  Ground Elder, Aegopodium podagraria.
31.  Goldcrest.
32.  Common frog, Rana temporaria.
33.  Water Measurer, Hydrometra stagnorum.
34.  Common Pondskater, Gerris lacustris.
35.  Blanketweed, Cladophora glomerata.
36.  Honesty, Lunaria annua.
37.  Greenfinch.
38.  Comma butterfly, Polygonia c-album.
39.  Hairy bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta.
40.  Elder, Sambucus nigra.
41.  Feral pigeon.
42.  Common Ash, Fraxinus excelsior.
43.  Stinking Iris, Iris foetidissima.
44.  Weeping willow, Salix x sepulcralis.
45.  Common Reed, Phragmites australis.
46.  Common Honeysuckle, Lonicera pericyclemum.
47.  Chiffchaff.
48.  Common Teal.
49.  Song Thrush.
50.  Starling.
51.  Long-tailed Tit.
52.  Old Man’s Joy, Clematis vitalba.
53.  Teasel, Dipsacus fullonum.
54.  House Sparrow.
55.  Linnet.
56.  Goosander.
57.  Lesser Black-backed Gull.
58.  Barn Swallow.
59.  Buddleia, Buddleia davidii.
60.  Red Valerian, Centranthus ruber.
61.  Heliophanus cupreus (a jumping spider).
62.  House spider, Tegenaria domestica.
63.  Wallflower, Erysimum cheiri.
64.  Field Horsetail, Equisetum arvense.
65.  Annual mercury, Mercurialis annua.
66.  Feverfew, Tanacetum Parthenium.
67.  Scarlet Pimpernel, Anagallis arvensis.
68.  Couch Grass, Elymus repens.
69.  Velvet Mite, Eutrombidium rostratus.
70.  Scytodes thoracica (a spitting spider).
71.  Daddy Longlegs Spider, Pholcus phalangioides.
72.  2-Spot Ladybird, Adalia bipunctata.
73.  Garden snail, Helix aspersa.
74.  White-lipped Snail, Cepaea hortensis.

I have taken notes and photographs of a few plants and animals that I am yet to identify. If I am successful, they will be added to a later post.


  1. I'm pretty sure Sven that for most (all?) the personal challenge of finding and identifying new things in a relatively small area is the main point, rather than the final total. I'm not going to end the year on <1000 and be disappointed - already I've seen new things and learnt a lot about my local area that would have gone unknown without this challenge. Using my home square is the key; it's pretty poor overall for habitat diversity which forces me to look at different orders and learn stuff. Plus there is the valuable bonus of gathering data and adding dots to maps along the way.

  2. Hi Sven - the "competitive" talk is really just good-natured banter and no-one really takes it too seriously. You're absolutely spot on that it's all about the challenge and the learning of new skills. The total also isn't important - for me it was just a hook to make me get out of bed and go that extra mile. Otherwise I find it too easy to put off looking for things until tomorrow. Each to their own though. Please don't be put off by any apparent competitive banter though. And remember that some of us have known each other a long time, one way or another!