Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014: the beginnings

This time last year I started properly paying attention to the wildlife in my local area, particularly in the 1km square centred roughly on my house.  Then at Easter I got a job monitoring insects in oilseed rape fields in Wiltshire that meant I barely visited the square for four months, and most of the rest of my spare time went to finishing writing up my PhD, so it ended up with a fairly small-scale effort, though I did eventually reach 4,609 records of 1,059 species (with a load more stuff in pots awaiting a spare minute!).

This year, with just one full-time job and a few side projects, I've got the chance to try it properly.  In addition, I start as one of BBC Wildlife's local patch reporters on the 10th February, so I'll be documenting everything I find over the next year.

So far,I've taken advantage of the warm January weather to wander round a few of the local paths, checking on the progress of the floods (most of the top half of the map has been underwater for much of the year so far) and poking through the flood debris.  So far, I've found and identified 221 species in my square: the full list is at but the highlights include four pairs of goosanders and two kingfishers on the lake at bottom right, 16-spot ladybirds in the flood debris, and a water scorpion:

(cross-posted at Insect rambles and 1000 species for 1km)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Beetles, bugs and bryophyes


56. Rhyzobius lophanthae (In my garden - still the only known site in Buckinghamshire at the moment I think although it is probably quite common if people looked for it)

57. Red valerian


58. Pied wagtail


59. Wood mouse
60. White stonecrop
61. Red dead nettle
62. Lecanora muralis
63. Parmelia sulcata
64. Xanthoria parietina
65. Common pincushion moss - Dicranoweisia cirrata
66. Ribwort plantain

67. Syntrichia ruralis
68. Common Feather-moss - Kindbergia praelonga

White Stonecrop

Recently identified things
69. Monalocoris filicis (Found 03/01/14)
70. The true bug - Deraeocoris lutescens (Found 04/01/14)
71. Zygina angusta (Found 09/01/14)
72 Zyginidia scutellaris (Found 09/01/14)

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Since the last post from me I have spotted quite a few more species:

  1. Fallow deer
  2. Wall rue
  3. Wall spleen wort
  4. Sanicle
  5.  Peziza versiculosa(fungi)
  6. Macrotyphula fistulosa(pipe club fungi)
  7. Tramella aurantia(fungi)
  8. Schizopora parradoxa(fungi)
  9. Velvet shank(fungi)
  10. Witches butter(fungi) 
  11. Silver leaf fungus
  12. Common orange lichen
  13. Lace wing(I found it hiding in our spear bedroom)
 I'm now up to 231 which is a bit of an improvement on how many I had last post.

Friday, January 10, 2014

TG4523 - Horsey, East Norfolk

I moved to Horsey last October, having lived and birded in Kent for the previous 43 years - I needed a change! I've been becoming more interested in taxa other than birds and thought that this challenge would help increase my limited knowledge of most insects, plants etc.

TG4523 has a fantastic geographical position, being half a mile from the coast and sand dunes and close to many great Broadland sites including Reydon Marshes, Stubb Mill and Horsey Mere, and the Horsey area is one of the Crane capitals of the country. The square has a range of habitats, with agricultural fields, hedgerows, a few dykes, a small area of woodland, a couple of copses and a small number of houses. Access is not great to a lot of the square but should still be OK to record a large number of species.

I'm sure that birds will be excellent, particularly in passage periods, and so far this year I've already recorded 56 species including Crane, Whooper Swan, Barn Owl, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Brambling, Little Egret and the thousands of Pink-footed Geese that use or fly over the square every day in the winter.

Insects should also be good, with species such as Norfolk Hawker and Swallowtail butterfly almost certain, including in my garden. Dark Green Fritillary is also a possibility, whilst the dykes in the square might attract the occasional otter - they are regular on the Waxham Cut about 200 yards outside the square but probably wander into the square on occasion.

I've recorded 108 species at the time of writing.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Slow and steady

Slow and steady progress in SP8112. I go back to university on Monday and was hoping to find lots of species before then but that doesn't look like that is gong to happen. Here is a continuation of my list so far


18. Dunnock
19. Greenfinch
20. Robin
21. Redwing
22. Sycamore
23. Ivy
24. Yarrow
25. Common ragwort
26. Oxford ragwort
27. Groundsel
28. Silver birch
29. Elder
30. Petty spurge
31. Lesser duckweed
32. Ash
33. Hawthorn
34. Silverweed
35. Cleavers
36. Common Nettle
37. White Dead Nettle
38. Great Grey (Leopard) Slug
39. Garden Snail
40. Herb Bennet
41. Holly
42. Daisy
43. Horse Chestnut
44. Yew
45. The springtail - Dicyrtomina saundersi.
46. Common Water Slater
47. Hedgerow cranes bill


48. Common Hemp Nettle
49. Shepard's purse
50. Purple toadflax
51. 7 spotted ladybird


52. 14 spot ladybird 
53. Small flowered cranesbill
54. Common chickweed


55. Long tailed tit

Dicyrtomina saundersi


Thursday, January 2, 2014

A continuation

Hi everyone
My name is Helen Ackerman,I'm doing this challenge partly for a school project for the next 3 months but I'm carrying on until the end of this year .i  started my list of species last November but I haven't got that many species yet so must try harder!
At the moment I'm up to 222,and I've still got a couple of fungi to look up that we found this morning.
  My square (SO51 17)is situated around our house in welsh newton common which is a little village near Monmouth.
These are a few of my first species:

  1. House sparrow
  2. Hazel
  3. Ivey
  4. Elder
  5. Oak
  6. Beech
  7. Ash
  8. Wood pigeon (a flock)
  9. Black bird
  10. Buzzard
  11. Red wing
  12. Robin
  13. Bramble(I don't know which one)

These were seen from inside our living room on the 1 of November 2013.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A slow start in SP8112

Hello everyone,
Firstly I had better introduce my square (SP8112), my square is located in the centre of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and is located around my house. I am in my final year of completing a degree in Biology so I will only be able to go looking for new species when I am at home at weekends and the holidays until May when I finish my degree. A couple of years ago I could barely identify birds and mammals, since then I have learnt how to identify common species of a wider variety of groups of wildlife and have started a pan species list.
I especially like recording wildlife in my local area and recorded over 400 species in my garden in 2013. I am also one of the founding members of the Garden Bioblitz which aims to inspire people to record wildlife in their gardens.
One of the main problems I see with my square is the fact that most of it is comprised of private gardens, as you can see on the map above, which I wont be able to gain access to but hopefully I will still find enough habitats to explore.

So today it was the first day of the year and what a miserable day it was. So much so that I only recorded 17 species, all from the comfort from inside the house. I will really have to try harder over the coming days!

1. Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
2. Feral Pigeon (Columba livia)
3. Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
4. Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
5. Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
6. Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
7. Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
8. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
9. Magpie (Pica pica)
10. Man (Homo sapiens)
11. Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
12. Blackbird (Turdus merula)
13. Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)
14. Red Kite (Milvus milvus)
15. Black headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
16. Great Tit (Parus major)
17. Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Good luck to everyone participating in the challenge. You can follow my progress on twitter (@RyanClarkNature)

Ryan Clark