Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Night moves

Having seen Tree Slug in my garden a couple of squares away I headed off with head torch to nail it down in the Golden Square, which duly happened - hurrah!

While I was there I thought it was worthwhile poking about a bit on tree bark. One of my neighbours who was walking his dog with a torch enthusiastically joined in and so racked up an "assist" on Common Earwig. I think I'll also record him as a human. I'm more or less sure he is.

It was nice to get some spiders on the board finally. Of course I also came away with a small number of brain teasers to sort out (micro moth, uncertain slug, 2 or possibly 3 lichens)

Amaurobius similis, male

Labulla thoracica, female

Species additions 17/01/2017:
116 Labulla thoracica A spider
117 Amaurobius similis A spider
118 Arthonia radiata A lichen
119 Tenuiphantes tenuis A Linyphiid spider
120 Porcellio scaber Common Rough Woodlouse
121 Lehmannia marginata Tree Slug
122 Forficula auricularia Common Earwig
123 Dynamena pumila A hydrozoan
124 Lehmannia marginata Tree Slug
125 Homo sapiens human

Monday, January 16, 2017

NG3963 - Moffs n stuff

Just had my first macro moth of the year arrive, a lovely male Mottled Umber. He (females are wingless) was sat on the wall inside the laundry shed, I potted it up and shook him onto the window sill outside. This is how it landed

"I meant to land like this...honest"

Spent yesterday afternoon digging up worms and bivalves on the beach (really low tides here at the moment) and was handsomely rewarded with a large Sand Gaper and several new worms. It was nicer than it sounds! Here are a couple of pics

Blow Lug (Arenicola marina) 
Butterfish (Pholis gunnellus) - well, almost looks like a worm!
Species List as of 16th January 2017 stands at 231. I'll give a breakdown soon.

My Square

The KSQ I'll be attempting to record 1000 species from this year is SW7633, near Penryn in West Cornwall (VC1). This will be especially challenging as I'm only living in Cornwall during university terms.  I'll be spending April and mid-June to mid-September back home in Cambridgeshire!
Here is my square:
The square contains most of a local reservoir and its surrounding woodland area, as well as some surrounding farmland/hedgerows, and some of the village of Mabe Burnthouse. I will be tree beating, sweep netting, pond dipping, log turning, botanising, bryologising, lichenising, birding and hopefully pitfalling and moth trapping!
I'll be getting an up to date species list together in the next few days.

Lunchtime booster pack

A beautiful day on the Forth, though the sun was too bright to take a better picture of the bridges.

Still mostly sticking to low hanging fruit, another 20-odd on a lunchtime stroll around the Point. Nothing too tricky ... except the ones still in my pockets. If I knew what they were they'd be here already!

94 Lecanora sulphurea a lichen
95 Candelariella vitellina a lichen
96 Lichina confinis a lichen
97 Parmelia saxatilis a lichen
98 Chamerion angustifolium Rosebay Willowherb
99 Polytrichum juniperinum Juniper Haircap
100 Armeria maritima Thrift
101 Corvus corone Carrion Crow
102 Xanthoria aureola a lichen
103 Fucus serratus Toothed Wrack
104 Rhizocarpon richardii a lichen
105 Tephromela atra Black Shields
106 Periparus ater Coal Tit
107 Bucephala clangula Goldeneye
108 Turdus philomelos Song Thrush
109 Cladonia portentosa a lichen
110 Cladonia rangiferina a lichen
111 Xanthoparmelia loxodes a lichen
112 Anaptychia runcinata a lichen
113 Plantago major Greater Plantain
114 Plantago coronopus Buck's-horn Plantain

NT1582 - The Kingdom o' Fife

A nice square in the Kingdom of Fife - Dalgety Bay. Sadly just near my house rather than containing it, so all my MV trapping counts for nowt. I am hopeful some trapping still may be done, though. Three woodlands, a beach, a rocky point and a bunch of houses as well as potential seabirdy action all suggests 1000 species shouldn't be a stretch. It will require some focus to do it in a year though. Since October I've recorded 300 species and that includes barely any invert action. It doesn't hurt that there's lots of lichen substrate and all the lichens found last year will pretty much be in exactly the same place they were in December. I just have to go and write them all down again!

It would be nice to record four Skuas and to see another otter. Also a couple of species of whale please!

edit: species a measly 93 at 16/01/17. Species List

Friday, January 13, 2017

NG3963 - Uig, Isle of Skye

Welcome to the Mighty NG3963

I moved to Uig at the start of December 2016 after gaining work here. Bit of a contrast from the Isles of Scilly where I spent the summer time and from South London/Southampton where I've spent the past few decades.

In my square I have lots of very gently sloping beach (lots of wracks and rocky debris on the sands but tragically no actual rockpools). Judging by the empty shells strewn across the sands there are a large quantity of buried bivalves awaiting discovery. A gull flock is usually present at the river mouth and I live in hope of finding something good amongst them. Ivory Gull was found here a few years back! 

There are two rivers that spill into Uig Bay, The Rha and The Conon. The latter runs through the largest chunk of deciduous woodland to be found in the northern half of Skye - the imaginatively named Uig Woods. It is owned by the Woodland Trust and the section east of the A87 is a fine example of Celtic Rainforest with remnant Atlantic Hazelwoods on one slope. The valleysides here are ridiculously steep (sheep fall off and get swept out to sea!) and help create a humid valley where lichens and bryophytes abound. I expect invertebrate interest will be quite high here in the warmer months. Unfortunately this may be largely composed of biting midges, but needs must.  

Most of the land east of the A87 comprises open hillsides used for grazing sheep with limited access. I suspect the local farmers are of the shoot first and ask questions later type. A small cemetery adds interest by way of its lichen/moss covered walls.   

I live pretty much slap bang in the centre of NG3963 so can merrily count anything attracted to the windows/security lights at night. I don't currently have a MVL trap, but that may well change. I have a microscope, I have some literature and keys. I have enthusiasm and I have my own blog (check out ) Looking forward to seeing if 1000 species is achievable this far north.

So far (13th Jan) my total for NG3963 stands at 215 species. 

Best of luck for 2017 everybody!

Friday, May 9, 2014

A rather large update

Apologies for not posting in a while, I've been finishing my dissertation and preparing for my final university exams I haven't had much time to explore.

As I haven't posted since February, here are the species I have seen in my square since then.

92 Agonopterix heracliana
93. Nectria cinnabarina
94. Emmelina monodactyla
95. Greater periwinkle
96. Wych elm

97. Common frog
98. Common mouse ear
99. Spring crocus
100. Wild daffodil
101. Snowdrop

102. Lesser celandine
103.Green speedwell
104. Sparrowhawk
105. Lygus rugulipennis
106. Anthocoris nemoralis
107. Peregrine falcon

108. Early grey
109. Tree bee

110. Hazel
111. Common quaker
112. Common wasp
113. Rook
114. White tailed bumblebee
115. Green shieldbug
116. Common plume moth

117. Clouded drab
118. Brimstone butterfly
119. 22 spot ladybird
120. Harlequin ladbird
121. Amblyptilia acanthadactyla
122. Pill woodlouse

123. Smooth sow thistle
124. Field horsetail
125. Pterostichus madidus

126. Common carder bee
127. Eristalis tenax
128. Eristalis pertinax 

129. Jackdaw

130. Physella acuta 
131. Radix balthica 
132. Early bumblebee 
133. White shouldered house moth 
134. Gyraulus laevis

135. Hebrew charachter

136. Amaurobius similis
137. Hairy bittercres
138. Wavy bittercress

139. Cow parsley
140. Early thorn
141. Yellow dung fly

142. Comma
143. Peacock butterfly
144. Zebra spider (Salticus scenicus)
145. Hairy footed flower bee
146. Hawthorn shieldbug
147. Melanostoma scalare
148. Melanostoma mellinum
149. Garlic Snail (Oxychilus alliarius)
150. Smooth newt
151. Shiny woodlouse
152. Chrysoperla carnea (lacewing)

153. Brindled pug
154. Small quaker
155. Diurnea fagella
156. Platycheirus albimanus
157. Ectopsocus petersi
158. Nursery web spider

159. Black sexton beetle
160. Bee fly
161. Andrena bicolor

162. Cowslip
163. Ivy leaved speedwell
164. Ground ivy
165. Yellow archangel 

166. Cecidophyes nudus
167. Demetrias atricapillus
168. Choreutis pariana
169. Tawny mining bee
170. Red tailed bumblebee

171.Agonopterix alstroemeriana (Moth)
172. Double striped pug
173. Tawny pinion

174. Early dog violet
175. Horse radish
176. Sun spurge

177. Canada goose

178. Small tortoiseshell
179. Bombus vestalis
180. Andrena flavipes
181. Box bug

182. Andrena nigroaenea
183. Andrena haemorrhoa
184. Honey bee

185. Pale mottled willow
186. Orange tip butterfly
187. 24 spot ladybird
188. Holly blue butterfly
189. Helophilus pendulus

190. Common comfrey

191. Epistrophe elegans 
192. Notiophilus rufipes 
193. Notiophilus biguttatus
194. Knot grass


195. Nettle groundbug 
196. German wasp 
197. Garlic mustard

198. Least black arches
199. Incurvaria masculella
200. Small white
201. Herb robert

202. Wild pansy
203. Honesty
204. Green alkanet

205. Corizus hyoscyami (Bug)
206. Spanish bluebell 
207. Blue anenome 
208. Grape Hyacinth

209. Brimstone (Moth)
210. Charlock
211. Nettle aphid

212. Scarlet lily beetle
213. Shuttle shaped dart
214. Field madder
215. Argyrotaenia ljungiana

216. Sphaeridium lunatum
217. Andrena cineraria
218. Andrena carantonica
219. Black medick
220. Prickly sow thistle
221. Cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis)
222. Bulbous buttercup
223. Swift
224. Syrphus ribesii
225. Large red damselfly
226. Light brown apple moth
227. Common marbled carpet
228. Garden carpet
229. Yellow barred brindle

230. Case bearing clothes moth
231. Brown house moth
232. Gracillaria syringella
233. Grammoptera ruficornis

Hopefully I will have a better update soon with pictures and more species.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

spring at last

"Spring Has Now Unwrapped her Flowers"

Spring seems to have finally arrived. I've been out a lot since I last posted anything and I'm past 300, which doesn't sound very much but I am slowly but surely getting to 1000!
Although all the wet weather this winter has been devastating on most things, the mosses and fungi have thrived. they have helped my list no end. Now spring flowers are blossoming, The chiff-chaffs and black caps are singing their heads off, the swallows have arrived and I saw my first brimstone and orange tip for this year, and today the first peacock butterfly.
Placing my mammal footprint device in undergrowth

On Friday this week I have to present my findings for the first three months as part of my school project, so
I thought it was about time to publish my list of species so far (this is the bit that really takes the time!) so here it is:

English name                                  Latin name
1. scarlet hood wax cap   
2. scarlet elf cup
3. silver leaf fungus
4. common earth ball
5. witches butter
6. velvet shank
7. birch boletus
8. king alfreds cakes
9. puffball                                    lycoperdon pyriforme
10. ugly milkcap
11. shaggy inkcap
12. shaggy parasol
13.                                             schizopora parradoxa
14.                                             tremella aurantia
15. pipe club                              macrotyphula fistulosa
16.                                            pezziza versiculosa
17. deceiver
18. porcelain fungus
19. candle snuff/deers antler
20.                                           dichomitus campestris
21.                                           diatrype disciformis
22.                                           neobulgoria pura
23.                                           bisporella citrina
24. sulphur tuft
25.                                          russula ionchlora
26. dead mans fingers
27. tar spot
28. the charcoal burner              russula
29. blackish-purple russula         russula
30. meadow wax cap                 hygrocybe ovina(?)
31. blackening waxcap
32. orangey wax cap                  hygrocybe miniata
33. milk-cap                              lactarius azonites
34. scarlet deceiver
35. watery milk-cap
36. white helvella
37. honey fungus
38. parrot wax cap
39. turkey tail bracket
40. yellow wax cap
41. coral spot family                  nectria coccinea
42. white slime/jelly mould           exidia
Total 42


  1.  brain lichen
  2.  lecanora canuzaeoides   
  3. common orange lichen
  4. map lichen                                         
  5. oak moss  
  6. ramaline farinacea

Total 6


  1. dunnock  
  2.  magpie   
  3. wood pigeon  
  4. Chiff-chaff       
  5. blue tit            
  6. bullfinches       
  7. song thrush     
  8. buzzard         
  9. pheasant      
  10. tree creeper    
  11. robin         
  12.  brambling                   
  13. coal tit                 
  14. goshawk     
  15. wood cock      
  16. crow         
  17. field fares   
  18. rook           
  19.  jackdaws  
  20. sparrow hawk     
  21. willow tit   
  22. green finch             
  23. marsh tit     
  24. collared dove            
  25. spotted flycatcher     
  26. siskin    
  27. nut hatch   
  28. chaffinch          
  29. great tit            
  30. pied wag tail           
  31. jay                
  32. long tailed tits     
  33. black bird turdus merula   
  34. wren         
  35. starling                 
  36. gold finch             
  37. tawny owl           
  38. red wing   
  39. house sparrow   
  40. grey wagtail           
  41. willow warbler
  42. cuckoo
  43. wood warbler
  44. firecrest
  45. goldcrest
  46. green woodpecker
  47.  greater spotted woodpecker
  48. swallow
  49. Mallard
  50. skylark
  51. blackcap
  52. chiff chaff
Total 52


  1. slug?                                                     
  2. common garden snail                         
  3. banded snail                                          
  4. tiger slug

5. centipede                                        
6. bird fleas                                                    
7. harvestman                                            
8. bee fly                                                
9. violet ground beetle                                    
10. money spider                                                  
11. common darter dragonfly                                    
12. 7 spot lady bird                                  
sloe shield bug
13. red field ant                                                  
14. house spider                                                
15. blood mite      
16. water boat man

17. wasp    
18. millipede  
19. daphnia
20. water measurer    
21. whirly gig beetle          
22. wood louse        
23. earwig
24. sloe shieldbug
25. peacock butterfly              
26. small white      
27. brimstone butterfly    
28. red admiral              
29. small tortoiseshell butterfly
30. orange tip  
31. green veined white

32. mosquito                    
33. horse fly                    
34. lace wing              
35. blue bottle                
36. gnats
37. brandling worms
38. earth worm

39. honey bee
40. (mining bee) andrena cineraria  
41. buff tailed bumble bee
42. anthophona plumipes  
43. bumble bee
44. cuckoo bee
Total 44

wood anemones

  1. yellow archangel         
  2. honey suckle
  3. stinking iris
  4. cocks foot grass           
  5. bracken                                        
  6. colts foot                                    
  7. wood ruff                                  
  8. wood anemone                        
  9. broom                                             
  10. dog violet                                      
  11. butter bur                                  
  12. wild primrose                        
  13. wood spurge                              
  14. blue bells                                                                   
  15. wood avens                                  
  16. burdock                                        
  17. clematis old man’s beard                            
  18. deadly nightshade                      
  19. white Briony
  20. Black Briony
  21. hog weed/cow parsnip                                        
  22. dogs mercury                          
  23. common knapweed                    
  24. marsh thistle                                          
  25. dandelion                                      
  26. chick weed                                          
  27. hemlock water-drop wort               
  28. fox tail grass                                  
  29. common spotted orchid              
  30. marsh marigold                            
  31. common birds foot trefoil                      
  32. fat hen                                                
  33. red shank                                           
  34. hedgerow cranes bill                            
  35. hedge wound wort                            
  36. nettle                                              
  37. euphorbia  
  38. greater willow herb                            
  39. forget-me-not                                  
  40. tansy                                                
  41. foxglove digitalis purpurea      
  42. wood sorrel                                                                                    
  43. mallow(purple flower)                    
  44. bramble                                                
  45. herb Robert                                      
  46. ribwort plantain                                    
  47. hairy land cress            
  48. bitter land cress                            
  49. gorse                                        
  50. crab apple malus sp              
  51. arum pictum italicum
  52. wild gooseberry                                        
  53. wild strawberry                                              
  54. hoary plantain                                          
  55. daisy  
  56. water figwort                                          
  57. lady’s smock                                          
  58. goose grass                                                
  59. bistort(?)                                                
  60. greater stitch wort                                                
  61. cooch grass                                                
  62. broad leafed dock                                      
  63. lemon balm                                            
  64. bastard balm                                              
  65. vetch(mauve)                                                
  66. cats ear                                        
  67. poor man’s mustard                                          
  68. sanicle                                                
  69. wood rush                                          
  70. rosebay willow herb                                                
  71. ivy leafed speedwell                                          
  72. guelder rose                                            
  73. yarrow                                                      
  74. moon daisy                                                
  75. convulvulus                                
  76. sheep sorrel                                                
  77. lesser periwort                                            
  78. ivy-leaved toad flax                              
  79. red clover                                                
  80. wild daffodils                                          
  81. soft rush                                                        
  82. hard rush                                                
  83. early violet                                         
  84. creeping thistle                                          
  85. pineapple weed                                        
  86. common hawk weed                    
  87. wild raspberry    
  88. greater celandine                                
  89. white violet                                      
  90. water mint                                      
  91. Japanese knot weed                              
  92. Queen Ann's lace                                
  93. Pig nut                                              
  94. lesser celandine                                
  95. himilayan balsom                           
  96. duck weed                                              
  97. creeping Jenny                                
  98. branched bur weed                                  
  99. wild bilberry                                                
  100. white dead nettle                                          
  101. ground elder                                                 
  102. dog rose                                                                
  103. snow drops                                      
  104. ivy                                                          
  105. ragwort
  106. campion
  107. wild garlic
  108. greater spearwort
  109. Welsh poppy
  110. yellow corydalis
  111. common fumitory
  112. honesty
  113. Field rose
  114. bush vetch
  115. germander speedwell
  116. woody speedwell
  117. field pansy
  118. sweet violet
  119. perennial rye grass
  120. sweet vernal grass
  121. pendulous sedge
  122. wood sedge
  123. perennial flax
  124. wall lettuce
  125. moss  common tamarisk moss                        
  126. moss    common feather moss                
  127. moss  capillary thread moss                          
  128. moss  rough-stalked feather moss          
  129. moss    pseudoscleropodium purum
  130. moss    tortula muralis
  131. liverwort crested cup
  132. fern harts tongue 
  133. fern male fern
  134. fern wall rue    
  135. fern wall spleen wort
  136. tree black thorn  
  137. tree silver birch
  138. tree yew
  139. tree mountain ash
  140. tree holly  
  141. tree crack willow
  142. tree wild cherry
  143. tree ash fraxinus nigra
  144. tree larch
  145. tree sycamore
  146. tree beech
  147. tree    oak    quercus 
  148. tree elm
  149. tree    horse chestnut         
  150. tree aspen
  151. tree hawthorn
  152. tree elder        
  153. tree hazel       
  154. tree sweet chestnut
  155. tree    alder
  156. tree    small leaved lime

Total 156


  1. pipestrelle bat      
  2. rabbit                                      
  3. badger                                      
  4. bank vole                                  
  5. shrew                                         
  6. short tailed field vole                   
  7. wood mouse
  8. dormouse                             
  9. stoat                                    
  10. fallow deer                              
  11. hedge hog                                    
  12. squirrel                                  
  13. fox                                            
  14. mole
  15. rat                                        

Total 15

  1. great crested newt                      
  2. toad                           bufo bufo        
  3. smooth newt                                
  4. palmate newt                           
  5. common frog
Total 5

Grand total to the end of April is 320