Friday, April 28, 2017

Plant Smut ..

First off well done to Seth for finding his fancy plant .....

I start a new job on Monday so time will be a little more limited then normal but still hope to find as much as I can despite being a novice really.

Spent a few hours in the woods came up with the following species (Thank Seth for a few tips).

93. Nuthatch - Bird

94. Haplophilus subterraneus - Centipede - (Thanks Christian) 

95. Grey Squirrel - Mammal
96. Human - Mammal
97. Anther Smut - Fungus
98. Bracken Map - Fungus
99. Dipper - Bird
100. Kingfisher - Bird
101. Marsh Tit - Bird
102. Treecreeper - Bird

103. Ramularia purpurascens - Fungus

104. Painted Lady - Butterfly
105. Grey Heron - Bird
106. Evening Primrose - Plant

Yeovil ST 52 17

Last working day of April so time to update what I have managed to add this month.
Didn't make it to 300 as I had hoped but finished April on 285.
This is made up of;
Lichens 5, Fungi 4, Bryophytes 3, Higher Plants 139, Mammals 6, Birds 49, Amphibians 1, Fish 1, Mollusc 6, Spiders 4, Annelids 3, Myriapods 2, Orthoptera 1, Hemiptera 4, Butterflies 9, Moths 4, Diptera 15, Hymenoptera 17, Coleoptera 9 and Insects (Other groups) 2.

Its not just the numbers (of course! and I would say that given my position in the table!) just making myself look in more detail at things has given several lifers this month in what, in truth, is a very 'ordinary' square.


Sand Point VC6

Spent most of the week on the patch trying to collect some of the missing migrant birds but with little success. A Red Kite over yesterday was perhaps the highlight. Lots of insects are starting to appear so it's looking like the start of the busy season.

Algae 7
Slime Mould 1
Lichen 49
Fungi 12
Bryophytes 64
Vascular Plants 112
Cnidarians 1
Molluscs 7
Arachnids 2
Myriapods 1
Crustaceans 3
Springtails 3
Orthopteroids 1
Hemipteroids 2Hymenoptera 11
Coleoptera 22
Diptera 61
Butterflies 6
Moths 14
Remaining small orders 1
Birds 60
Mammals 5
Others 1
Total 446

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dalgety Bay, Fife, NT1582 - 500 not out!

This morning's news is all about Seth's big find so I'm sure this will rightly get gazumped shortly! Congrats to him (and another example of just how useful a 1km square survey is! Scandinavian birders ... pfft)

So this morning Nebria brevicollis became my 500th species for the square. I tried very hard last night to make it a muscid fly but it was refusing to lie down!

Nebria brevicollis
I must have a bit of a review later but it's great to be at the half way stage and 4 days before schedule.

Also I really should mention how good Duff was in sorting out a flea beetle I never thought would happen, although to be fair the FSC guide was if anything more direct.

And so without further ado, here are the final entries of the end of the beginning
497 Gongylidium rufipes A Linyphiid spider
498 Tipula varipennis A cranefly
499 Psylloides napi A flea beetle
500 Nebria brevicollis A ground beetle

Monday, April 24, 2017

NT1582, Dalgety Bay, Fife - Zombie Crab

After adding a handful of not-particulary-interesting microfungi and another couple of flies I was able to make a low tide foray on Sunday morning. First Common Terns of the year were screeching around Hopeward Point and I eventually found this young Edible Crab ...

I don't expect to see Spirobranchus worm on the top of a baby crab so I turned it over and ...

there it was -  Sacculina carcini - the parasitic barnacle, noted to be common in Green Shore Crab population, but apparently also in Edible Crab. The Collins field guide had this curious comment: "We only include this species for completeness as undoubtedly everyone in the British isles is already familiar with it". How very odd ... I guess I'm the last then.

484 Cepaea hortensis White-lipped Snail
485 Linaria cannabina Linnet
486 Parasyrphus punctulatus A hoverfly
487 Scathophaga stercoraria A fly
488 Ascochyta mercurialis A fungus
489 Peyronellaea curtisii A fungus
490 Anthostomella rubicola A fungus
491 Colletotrichum dematium A fungus
492 Sterna hirundo Common Tern
493 Sacculina carcini A barnacle

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Aberbargoed - Graig

524..Coreus marginatus – Dock Bug
525..Puccinia urticata (Fungus)
526..Ommatoiulus sabulosus (Millipede) Looked to be under most of what i turn over, they seem to have appeared out of no where

527..Prunus avium – Wild Cherry
528..Helvella acetabulum (Fungus) Lifer...found under Hazel in small wooded area.

529..Prunus laurocerasus – Cherry Laurel
530..Phytomyza ilicis – Holly Leaf Gall
531..Rumex crispus – Curled Dock
532..Barypeithes pellucidus (Beetle) Under discarded carpet on an old bottle tip.

533..Gonioctena olivacea (Beetle) Several seen on Broom.

534..Columella aspera (Snail)
535..Entomobrya intermedia (Springtail)
536..Peyronellaea curtisii (Fungus) Lifer...Thanks for this one Seth. :)

537..Lathronympha strigana (Moth caterpillar...St Johns Wort) Several seen in spun leaf tips.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

And County Durham passing 400

Thats the 400 mark passed, the days (and nights)  have started started to warm up a bit, the moth numbers are increasing, plantlife and insects generally are beginning to emerge and the weather forecast.... . Snow on Tuesday!

Here's where I am at the moment

Keith Robson
Waldridge (VC66)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Skye - Passing 500

Well I finally managed it, the 500th species in NG3963 fell yesterday afternoon. I had a day off work and decided I wasn't coming back until 500 had been achieved. First addition at number 498 was this

Nettle Clustercup Rust Puccinia urticata  on Common Nettle
This was followed by the common moss Mnium hornum which I've just overlooked. And the 500th? Bit of a bolt from the blue and not at all expected, a Grey Seal spyhopping in the bay! I'd heard that a bull sometimes follows the fishing boats into the pier (outside my square) but boom! There he was across this side just lazing around. No pics, too far away to be worth pointing my clickamatic at him.

Also in the bay was a lone Greenshank picking through the debris at the water's edge, they breed on Skye so I expect this individual won't be the last one I see.

I managed to find not one but two Arion ater beneath stones, black colouration and fringe lines running into the pale sole clinching ID for me

Arion ater - where have they all been hiding?
The remaining four additions were all microfungi, with two of them being lifers for me. Here's the first one

Puccinia primulae on Primrose leaf. Apparently common but new for me
Uromyces ficariae was found in quantity on a patch of Lesser Celandines

Uromyces ficariae - spores checked just to be sure
The next lifer was parasitising Marsh Marigolds growing in a tiny freshwater seepage in grasses at the top of the beach. I'm more used to seeing these plants in woodland habitats, not in the middle of an open field.

Ramularia calthae on Marsh Marigold - the spores are very thin and elongated (and difficult to photograph!)
Additions since last update as follows:

486 - Trombidium holosericeum Red Velvet Mite (arachnid) - Lifer
487 - Butterbur (plant)
488 - Ommatoiulus sabulosus Striped Millipede (myriapod)
489 - Wild Thyme (plant)
490 - Eisenia foetida Brandling Worm (annelid)
491 - Agonopterix heracliana (moth)
492 - Common Sandpiper (bird)
493 - Swallow (bird)
494 - Blackcap (bird)
495 - Common Dog Violet (plant)
496 - Fringecups (plant)
497 - Campaea margaritaria Light Emerald (moth)
498 - Mnium hornum (moss)
499 - Puccinia urticata (microfungus) - Lifer
500 - Grey Seal (mammal)
501 - Ramularia calthae (microfungus) - Lifer
502 - Greenshank (bird)
503 - Arion ater (mollusc)
504 - Puccinia primulae (microfungus) - Lifer
505 - Trochila craterium (microfungus)
506 - Uromyces ficariae (microfungus)

Still waiting for that mass-emergence of inverts and flowering plants. The Fringecups was new for the hectad and only the 5th record for Skye. Even better, the carpet of Ground-ivy I found some weeks back is the first record in Uig for decades and just the 6th post-2000 record for the entire vice county! I think the BSBI recorder is quite pleased thus far.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


My last two jobs have been in my square. Slightly disappointed that I've not added anything to my list from these gardens....need to look harder?

513..Phrurolithus festivus (Spider)
514..Pirapion immune (Beetle)
515..Aglaostigma aucupariae (Sawfly)

516..Polydrusus tereticollis (Beetle) Found on old Bracken stem, which it blended in well with Bracken map.

517..Sminthurus viridis (Springtail)
518..Altica lythri (Beetle)
519..Ecdyonurus torrentis (Mayfly) Oddly found this one on my living room window...indoors.

520..Lepisma saccharina (Silverfish) Found in the bath

521..House Martin
522..Bombus pascuorum (Bee)
523..Human (Wayne Collins...he's wild as Whimberries)

Dalgety Bay Fife - Lunchtimus mirabilis

It was 50/50 whether I finally caught up with gym time or went outside at lunchtime. Fortunately I went to bed too late last night to be bothered with the gym and it was sunny into the bargain.

Headed straight for the blackthorns where I had caught and then lost a lovely tachinid yesterday, which I'm pretty certain was Paracraspedothrix montivaga, a species I have recorded in the square last year. Anyway ... First to catch my eye were Peacock butterflies chasing up and down the upper shore, before I spotted an all dark large hoverfly on the strandline. Could it be?

A swing ... and a miss. Fly escapes. Next it, or another of the same, shows up on a blackthorn flower but in a tricky spot. A swing ... and a miss. Aaaaargh!

Suddenly from the strandline a large beetle burst onto the wing and I thought I was in for my first carrion beetle of the year. But no! What the bejeesus is this?! A fantastic Creophilus maxillosus, a big furry staph of similar magnitude to the Devil's Coach Horse only all fancy-likes with a fur coat. What a beauty! This is a quick record shot and the distribution map for the species as per NBN (I happen to know it HAS been recorded in Fife). In case you don't know where I am, it's just above Edinburgh in that vast white record desert ;)

After a ten minute stalk I did manage to catch not one but two Eristalins aeneus, first for mainland Fife and a fly I've been longing to see for a long time. For completeness the pic and map for that species too.

Latest numbers:

475 Phaonia subventa A muscid fly
476 Melanostoma mellinum A hoverfly
477 Phylloscopus trochila Willow Warbler
478 Eristalinus aeneus A hoverfly
479 Creophilus maxillosus Carrion Beetle