Monday, November 13, 2017

Dalgety Bay, Fife - a few additions

Keeping the ball slowly rolling I've been picking up bits of this and that.

A Cladonia found on the edge of a lawn turned out to be C.chlorophaea. Suspected Phaonia pallida from a water trap in Bathing House Wood was confirmed by its underwing setae, and a couple of female Anthomyia turned out to be festiva. All these were preceded by a Field Blewit which was found in the grassy triangle behind Lumsdaine Drive.

Waxwings still not here and no sign of the Hawfinch invasion here yet, though I haven't been out much in the mornings due to other commitments. You never know!


P+ red

1010 Lepista nuda Field Blewit
1011 Cladonia chlorophaea A lichen
1012 Phaonia pallida A muscid fly
1013 Anthomyia festiva A flower fly

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Who's been lazy? - Co. Durham update

Its good to see everyone has continued with the challenge and the 1K has been or is ready to be passed by several pan-listers.
Its been several months since I have updated anything partly, to be honest, because I got bored but also, I  took on a job of surveying the magnesium limestone flora on sections of the A19.... and its a *£$%ing long road. Plus, I've been doing some birding etc in Cyprus. Now I've finished all that and I've got the time,  it's gale force winds and not much in the way of daylight but at least it allowed me to start totalling everything up. I've had the moth trap running a couple of times a week but it's been a rush to just id the moths never mind anything else in it. That's the excuses out of the way.

So here is where I'm at and I doubt I'll get more than another 20 by year end. My plan at the start of this was to look at groups I don't normally bother with but it hasn't worked out like that and I think its partly because I did this challenge in 2014. I've been lazy and as I knew where most of the birds, flora and bryophytes were, together with checking the moth trap on a regular basis, it's been too easy.
If I had to do it again, and it will n
ot be in the near future, I would pick a different square, preferably one I'm not at all familiar with.
Meanwhile, I'll continue this year and then concentrate on my UK (well mainly Durham) Pan-list next year. I've got a whole coastline I've hardly explored.








Keith Robson
Waldridge, Co. Durham (VC66)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Sand Point VC6

Well done Ali on your 1,000. I've not been to my patch for weeks so can't see me getting to 1,000 this year. The list below is from an unpublished draft from my last visit. May try and get to 900 before the year end. A few more moth trapping sessions and I'd have reached 1,000 quite comfortably. Oh well, next time....

877. Aphodius foetidus
878. Field Grasshopper
879. Poecilus cupreus
880. Bembidion minimum
881. Ectemnius rubicola
882. Crepidodera aurea
883. Mydaea ancilla
884. Eudasyphora cyanella
885. Culex pipiens
886. Setisquamalonchaea fumosa
887. Schoenomyza litorella
888. Opomyza germinationis

Monday, October 23, 2017

Dalgety Bay, fife - The 1000 : breakdown

So after a two week recovery period in Turkey here's a breakdown of how the total was reached. I'll have to think about my favourites later.

It's been fun. Sometimes exciting, sometimes trying. Sometimes amazingly easy, sometimes very difficult. There were plenty surprises and a full quarter of the final tally were species new to me. That might be worth breaking down too.

I'm looking forward to looking at some neglected places and groups to be honest, but it's been a very rewarding exercise. I'll continue to record a few "extra" species for when species on the list prove to be bulls.. erroneous. Now I'm taking it a bit easier birds are starting to finally trickle in, though with winter thrushes being the latest additions maybe that pool is drying up.

Here's how the numbers grew compared with previous annual listing on my local nature reserve

You can see the benefit of working a square close to home/work that's always accessible. The other one is too, to be fair, but I never visited it as consistently.

Here's how the numbers grew by category,

It's not so easy to see how the inverts broke down from this but flies came on strong latterly as moths died away. Moths were severely under-represented really as I only was able to take a serious moth trap on site in the final month. Let's not talk about beetles ... the surge of autumn fungi is pretty obvious though.

The way the numbers moved can be seen reasonably well on here:

Class Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep 23-Oct
Verts 40 54 64 71 73 74 85 92 95 99
Inverts 54 106 148 208 301 365 411 467 499 505
Plants 69 92 104 122 137 147 188 201 203 203
Fungi 65 72 87 93 99 102 119 139 176 181
Algae 8 13 16 17 17 17 17 17 17 17
Total 236 337 419 511 627 705 820 916 990 1005

And the final breakdown of today's tally of 1005 ...


Category Oct-23
alga 17
Protist other 0
slime mould 2
lichen 48
fungus 131
liverwort 5
moss 27
flowering plant 165
conifer 2
fern 4
cnidarian 4
mollusc 33
bryozoan 2
annelid 7
flatworm 1
harvestman 5
pseudoscorpion 1
spider 29
gall mite 0
tick 1
millipede 6
centipede 3
crustacean 15
collembola 13
bristletails 1
odonata 0
dermaptera 1
orthoptera 0
hemiptera 29
coleoptera 58
diptera 154
lep-moth 92
lep-butterfly 9
hymenoptera 34
insect-other 4
tunicate 1
echinoderm 1
invert-other 1
fish 4
reptile 0
amphibian 2
bird 88
mammal 5

Just for luck, some more numbers:
1001 Pyrrhula pyrrhula Bullfinch
1002 Eudasyphora cyanella A muscid fly
1003 Lactarius pubescens A mushroom
1004 Turdus iliacus Redwing
1005 Turdus pilaris Fieldfare

Lactarius pubescens

Winter thrushes

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Dalgety Bay - Four digits!

On Thursday a small  patch of Nitschkia collapsa was found on (probably) ash, which left only one species to find. I had hoped it might be a passing flock of barnacle geese or a sea eagle or something but in the end it turned out to be another mushroom (fungus 130)!

This morning at 8:13 in in Chapel Wood I came across a few fruit bodies (mushrooms to "normal people"!) of  Laccaria laccata, which is the official species #1000!

Because I'm not at work and have no tools, here it is in all its unfocussed, uncropped glory


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dalgety Bay - a new dawn, a new day, a new fly ... again

Sorry about the repetitive theme but this is what we're working with now! Maybe another bird will show up at lunchtime today. Why not? (edit: another bird did not show up at lunchtime. hella windy too!)

Having found myself briefly locked out as I waited for the missus yesterday night I stumbled into this lovely Lactarius deterrimus on the edge of a garden. It has orange milk, which narrows it down very swiftly!

The fly, Suillia pallida, was only finally sorted out this morning though I had keyed the family and guessed the genus yesterday.

Lactarius deterrimus

Suillia pallida

The creeping count
988 Chloroclysta siterata Red-green Carpet
989 Ocydromia glabricula A fly
990 Lucilia silvarum A fly
991 Phaonia rufiventris A fly
992 Anser anser Greylag Goose
993 Lactarius deterrimus A milkcap
994 Suillia pallida A fly

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Yeovil end of September update

Managed to push on to over 600 for the square by the end of September. Now on 606 species made up of ;
Plants 227, Bryophytes 4, Fungi 24, Lichens 14, Annelids 3, Crustacea 2, Spiders 13, Molluscs 10, Myriapods 2, Diptera 32, Hymenoptera 27, Coleoptera 25, Moths 100, Butterflies 17, Hemiptera 16, Orthoptera 5, Odonata 12, Insects - other groups 3, Fish 1, Amphibia 3, Birds 59 and Mammals 8.

Strangest sighting of the month was, while innocently walking with bins along a country lane in the square, was to be asked by a car driver if I was Pete Forrest! In fact it was Pete Akers who very nearly did this challenge in the adjacent square. Shame he didn't in fact as the coincidence of only c8 participants over the whole of the UK but with 2 of them in adjacent squares would be amazing.

Pete

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dalgety Bay - Spring(tail) again!

A reprise of springtails with the common Ceratophysella bengtssoni found in the cap of a Mycena, maybe munching on spores. Also a not particularly exciting Oyster Gall on oak.

The springtail ID has been confirmed and only two prior records for Scotland - one from Dalgety Bay in 1934! Two prior Scottish records is about par for the course for a common springtail

Fungal foray

Ocelli/PAO

Mucron

Inflatable antennal section. But why?!

Additions
984 Ceratophysella bengtssoni A springtail
985 Andricus anthracina  Oyster Gall Causer


Monday, September 25, 2017

Dalgety Bay - Forging forward with fungi

I knew that this part of the year was always going to be a time when fungi would come to the fore and as luck would have it I was able to time a meeting of fungi-bothering friends to coincide with a time of decent fungal diversity starting to emerge. I always hoped to have these guys involved at some point, and it would have been nice if I could have moved the piece along the board a bit more beforehand so that we could have gone over 1000 with a corticioid fungus (the main focus of the study group).

As it was I've moved considerably closer to the goal, with just over 20 species left to grab. It won't happen before end of September now, but it might yet happen before I go on holiday in October.

smorgasbord

Clouded Funnel

The alien-looking Stinkhorn "egg"

Pholiota

Fairy Inkcap (already recorded)

Botryobasidium vagum (aka botryosum)

B.vagum's short and wide hyphae

Additions to the list:
965 Phallus impudicus Stinkhorn
966 Alauda arvensis Skylark
967 Rhodocollybia butyracea Butter Cap
968 Postia subcaesia Blueing Bracket
969 Pholiota squarrosa Shaggy Scalycap
970 Tomentella sublilacina A corticioid fungus
971 Skeletocutis nivea Hazel Bracket
972 Hyphodontia alutacea A corticioid fungus
973 Stereum sanguinolentum Bleeding Conifer Crust
974 Agaricus arvensis Horse Mushroom
975 Agaricus sylvaticus A mushroom
976 Marasmius oreades Fairy Ring Champignon
977 Clitocybe nebularis Clouded Funnel
978 Amphinema byssoides Cratered Duster
979 Botryobasidium vagum A corticioid fungus

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dalgety Bay - Emmesomyia grisea, new to Scotland (probably)

So I finally took a spade to the beach last night to dig up some lugworms. New species are proving a slog at the moment. Birds aren't playing ball though the flies and fungi are sort of ticking along. Two easy ones yesterday though (in ID terms - digging sand is still work!). However the third from yesterday was more interesting.

I decided the other night to give the proper respect to an anthomyiid that I netted at the weekend. Very happy I did too as it's the most northerly record for the species and more than likely new to Scotland - Emmesomyia grisea. As I've been making progress with calypterates it's been bugging me that I've sort of ignored the Anthomyiidae as difficult. Don't get me wrong - they ARE difficult, but they are getting easier. The difficulty lies in their similarity and the consequent nuances of setae organisation (and naming!) that you have to understand to work the keys. Females are still off the list, for the moment at least.





Additions:
957 Helophilus pendulus A hoverfly
958 Arenicola marina Blow Lugworm
959 Emmesomyia grisea An anthomyid fly

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sand Point VC6

Well I've pulled my finger out and been doing some recording on the patch for a change. Been quite productive with three from the list below being new to me. Still not much in the way of macro fungi. Nice to have a couple of Odonata on the list finally. I saw one in spring that was probably Southern Hawker but not able to get enough on it to be sure. I didn't get much birding in during the spring so maybe the autumn could be productive for this group as lots of commmon birds are missing from the list.
849. Arctic Tern
850. Hedge Parsley
851. Lesser Burdock
852. Common Knotweed
853. Lycoperdon pratense
854. Migrant Hawker
855. Purple Glasswort
856. Common Fleabane
857. Sea Rocket
858. Common Mallow
859. Coal Tit
860. Marssonina punctiformis
861. Leiobunum blackwalli
862. Opilio canestrini
863. Phyllonorycter corylifoliella
864. Lyonetia clerkella
865. Coenosia pumila
866. Hydrophorus oceanus
867. Coenosia agromyzina
868. Stomoxys calcitrans
869. Common Darter
870. Firecrest
871. Spotted Flycatcher
872. Colletes hederae
873. Aceria macrochela
874. Sargus bipunctatus
875. Uncinula bicornis
876. Chrysolina banksi

Chrysolina banksi

Sargus bipunctatus

Monday, September 18, 2017

Dalgety Bay - Fly by Night

After Friday's new Fife fly while searching for moss I found another new Fife fly while searching for moths. This is a cracking little thing and my first in the Keroplatidae. It's only Fife's 2nd recorded one as far s I can see though there must be lots more. Fortunately it did me the honour of attending my MV trap and even more fortunately (for a change) wasn't in the Mycetophilinae so I actually had a key for it!

I bagged some water cress also on Friday and was pleased to confirm the species which I had suspected was really the more common (in the county at least) hybrid.

Sunday turned up some nice mushrooms and all-in-all not a bad weekend, though a September finish seems to be drifting away

Macrocera (no kidding!) vittata

oficinale water cress

Lovely little Entoloma


Blackening Waxcap

Numbers;
946 Macrocera vittata A fungus gnat
947 Hygrocybe coccinea A Waxcap
948 Hygrocybe conica Blackening Waxcap
949 Claviceps purpurea Ergot
950 Polietes lardarius A muscid fly
951 Russula ochroleauca A mushroom
952 Scolopostethus thomsonii A mirid bug
953 Entoloma serrulatum Blue-edged Pinkgill

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dalgety Bay - Two steps forward ...

... one step back.

The two steps forward are a nice new county-first soldierfly Sargus bipunctatus and the more routine Spruce Carpet moth. Yesterday lunchtime, having added one moss species to the list, I decided to target another. Not long ago I discovered that a small stream ran through someone's garden and exited at the coast. This wasn't apparent until the house owner cleared the garden of all the overgrown vegetation and exposed a couple of small "pools" (Belfast sinks embedded in the ground!) . So I went to the bottom of it, outside his garden, to see if there were mosses on a couple of exposed rocks. Short answer is yes, but my first guess at ID (a Hygroamblystegium) looks wrong so we'll come back to that.

I did, though, consider that this different piece of habitat might make it worth carrying a net - good call! Settled on a leaf beside a small seepage-type area was the female Sargus.

A somewhat subdued moth-trapping session last night produced only Spruce Carpet. So far. I may have another once I figure out what it is!

On the "step back" the discovery of Lepista flaccida has rolled out to engulf the previously claimed Clitocybe gibba. Examples of the latter proved to be the former under close examination! This means some record revision must be done, probably including for last year. Dammit.

As I approach 1000 I want to be as critical as i can in reviewing the records so that the total is as solid as it can be. Chances of error are still > 0 of course, but that's just a fact of life.

Sargus bipunctatus

punctati

Sprucey bonus
Los numeros:
942 Sargus bipunctatus A Soldier Fly
943 Thera britannica Spruce Carpet

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sand Point VC6

A sea watch yesterday got me my first patch Balearic Shearwater but it was a mile out to sea so couldn't have it for the 1kmsq but today a juvenile Sabine's Gull drifted right into the square after spending 10mins on the tideline just outside the recording area. The flies are from my visit on 28th Aug which includes a very impressive hymenoptera Heteroplema amictum. Really ought to start pulling my socks up now, getting left behind.
838. Orygma luctuosum
839. Coenosia testacea
840. Thoracochaeta zostera
841. Lispe caesia
842. Pherbellia cinerella
843. Minettia rivosa
844. Delia echinata
845. Heteropelma amictum
846. Sabine's Gull
847. Black-tailed Godwit
848. Autumn Ladies Tresses

Sabine's Gull

Heteropelma amictum

Dalgety Bay - The Great Slowing

After a hell-for-leather rush over the 900 barrier it seems that the next slow cycle is here. Material is on pins and in pots but the wheels of identification grind exceeding slow. Fungi especially I can spend a lot of time on without a satisfactory answer.

Last night I managed to key out both of the things I attempted, only to discover that I already had recorded one of them. Well, it was an anthomyiid and I felt pretty pleased about it anyway, especially since of 47 couplets in the genus key it keyed out on the 47th!

The nice shiny new list addition is the solitary wasp Mellinus arvensis. This is the 4th one I've keyed out in my new solitary wasp book and takes me to 33 for hymenptera - about 23 more than I expected I think.

Birds are just .. let's not talk about birds ... have a wasp

Mellinus arvensis
Also since I have a photo here's Hygrocybe acutoconica, which used to be called H.persistens. The latter (former) name was much better because this is one tough Hygrocybe - with a gracile stipe and not discouloring it will hang around for weeks.


Additions:
933 Erigone dentipalpis A Linyphiid spider
934 Coenosia mollicula A muscid fly
935 Hygrocybe acuticonica Persistent Waxcap
936 Tephritis vespertina A tephritid fly
937 Mellinus arvensis A solitary wasp

Friday, September 8, 2017

Dalgety Bay - Flogging Molle

First of all congrats to Seth for sneaking past 900 in stealth mode (hopefully we might hear about it soon!)

Last night I visited the usual haunts with little success - hoping to connect with a Black Tern or perhaps some lovely full-spooned Pomarine Skuas ... anyway ... that didn't happen. So I took an unusual route home along the roadside. I haven't invested much time on that area, which is probably a mistake. It's better to cover diverse habitats obviously. Anyway, it came up trumps with a garden Birch producing a single Brown Birch Bolete, a short grass verge yielding Lesser Trefoil, which must have been there forever, and some nice Short-spined Puffballs (Lycoperdon molle). Really "spined" is a bit of an overstatement.

birch bolete

Lycoperdon molle



Lesser Trefoil

Numbers:
930 Lycoperdon molle Soft-Spined Puffball
931 Leccinum scabrum Brown Birch Bolete
932 Trifolium dubium Lesser Trefoil

More details here: link

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dalgety Bay - Myco Mayhem!

Faced with an evening of microscopy and a wet lunchtime what should one do? Ordinarily I would have worked a small backlog of flies but since I worked three inverts last night and only got repeats I decided instead to poke around in the woods. Keying fungi can require patience but since I was home alone with the manchild I thought I'd have lots of time after he was off to bed. Still there was some easy pickings to be had. The post bedtime headbanging produced only one redetermination and one solid ID, although to be fair it was mixed in with work on some off-topic material from the weekend.

Xerocom(ell)us sp. with Pinus


Box set

Common Rustgill

Deer Shield (not new)

Gymnopus peronatus - Wood Woollyfoot (not new)

Melanoleuca sp.

Gymnopus erythropus

Russula sanguinaria


Additions:
922 Gymnopus erythropus Red-legged Toughshank
923 Gymnopilus penetrans Common Rustgill
924 Melanoleuca melaleuca Bald Knight
925 Russula sanguinaria Bloody Brittlegill