Sunday, 24 November 2013

1109 and that it.. probably

 My first posting for more than a month, mainly because it's been rather quiet. Once I hit the 1000 species in the 1km square I slowed down and much of my time has been going through the specimens in the fridge using my microscope and reference books. It's been a (very) hard, slow plod but I'm now on 1109 species and I think that's probably it. The moth trap is packed away and I'll probably not have it out any more until February unless we have some mild weather, which according to the forecasts seems very unlikely. There's still a few plants in flower including a nice pink Yarrow this morning, adding a bit of colour to the grey skies


As well as hitting numbers 1103-1109 today with a few more mosses, fungi and a lichen it was nice to just have a slow walk around the square and even venturing  outside it.

Blushing Bracket [Daedaleopsis confragosa]

There's quite a few Redwing around, no big flocks just groups of 1 to 10 in many of the hedgerows and woods, but no Fieldfare. Jays were another species rather conspicuous today with three different individuals seen, all presumably hunting acorns. A covey of Grey Partridge were in one of the arable fields

Grey Partridge

 and about 40 Golden Plover flew over Beany Lane towards the field they are usually in these days on the opposite site of the A167.

Golden Plover flying over

The best thing was probably a late Hedgehog which may have been disturbed from it's chosen hibernation place as it scuttled across the road.I gave it a helping hand.

Previously,  the best species since my last posting, though it's not saying much,  but it was my 84th species of bird this year in the square,  was a Red-legged Partridge. Which I have counted even though it's wild credentials are suspect at the very least.

Red-legged Partridge

It's already nearly dark these days before heading off to work and it is on my return,  so my sightings will probably be only at weekends, at least until the Christmas holidays.

Finally, as I said I did wander out of the square and into the Hermitage Woods at one point. The big viaduct there which takes the main east coast trains was, I guess, built around the same time as the big one in the town centre, which was finished in 1868 apparently. Anyway, though probably only superficial, it's certainly looking it's age with bricks missing and cracks on all the arch supports. Presumably its structurally checked and safe even if it does look decidedly dodgy these days.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Streak and Geese

It's been a wet and windy week and the moth trap has only had two outings. The best of a small selection both species and numbers was one called The Streak, a moth I have not caught for a few years now.

The Streak

Still quite few Carpets still about with Common Marbled, Grey Pine and Spruce Carpets present both times I have trapped.

Grey Pine Carpet

There was an interesting small dark female Ichneumon wasp in the trap too. A tiny thing, black with red legs, the rear being very large compared to the others.  I suspect this is a species called Helconidea ruspator.

Ichneumon wasp [Helconidea ruspator?]
Despite the early Redwings last month and east/north-east winds, there have been very few passing through to date. This seems to be generally true for the north east with the majority of them arriving much further south this year, mainly in Kent and the southern counties. Indeed there have been more Skylarks passing over than thrushes this week, with two small groups again today.

The birds of the week were also today, with a group of 4 Pink-footed Geese in the stubble field at Beany Lane.

Three of the four Pink-footed Geese at Beany Lane

 A flock of 30 Linnet and 40 House Sparrows are also feeding in this field. Also of interest was a covey of 11 Grey Partridge in Smith's Field on Thursday.

Monday, 30 September 2013

The fungi and the dragonfly - its now 1002

Looking around on the fell yesterday seeing what else could be found (or at least identified) and managed another two species.

One was a fungi,  Fairy Ring Champignon (Marasmius oreades). This is a very common species, often on lawns, though these were on the path by Wanister bog. And its edible, though it must be cooked before eating.

The other species was a big surprise thought the habitat always seemed  perfect for them, it's the first time I have ever see it here despite much searching and indeed I have failed to come up with any old records either. This was a species of dragonfly, the Black Darter, and I was very happy with species number 1002

A Black Darter on the fell yesterday.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Waldridge 1000

 I've done it at last, I've seen 1,000 species in the 1km square at Waldridge fell this year.  This morning only a dozen or so moths were in the trap but amongst them a Rush Veneer, #1000. Previously a Green Sandpiper flew over and helpfully called which was 999 but I thought it would be some fungi this weekend that would take me over. It's been a hard slog but at last I'm there.

My 1000 breakdown

Sunday, 22 September 2013

997, nearly there

It's been more than a couple of weeks since the last post but the list for the fell for the year is pottering on, despite mean having been poorly recently. Thanks mainly to the moth trap and now that the fungi are starting to appear I'm nearly at that magical 1000 mark [though a few of the most recent species actually go back to July but have been waiting to be identified].

Feathered Thorn & Green-brindled Crescent

Still a few butterflies about with Small Copper, Speckled Wood, both Large and Small White as well as Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma and Small Tortoiseshell being seen the last few days.

Small Copper & Speckled Wood

It is now feeling like autumn and as well as  the autumn moths appearing in the trap, 3 Redwing flew over despite the House Martins still feeding young in their nests in the town centre.

Heath Groundsel & Corn Spurrey

The species bagged since the last posting are -

959). Zygiella x-notata (Missing-segment Spider)
960). Nomada panzeri (a cuckoo-bee)
961). Epinotia ramella  (a micro-moth)
962). Straminergon stramineum (Straw Spear-moss)
963). Eurhynchium striatum (Common Striated Feather-moss)
964). Stoat (Mustela erminea)
965). Puccinia coronata var. avenae (Oat Rust)
966). Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric)
967). Boletus edulis (Cep)
968). Agaricus silvaticus (Blushing Wood Mushroom)
969). Inonotus radiatus (Alder Bracket)
970). Agaricus campestris (Field Mushroom)
971). Tricholoma album (White Knight mushroom)
972). Tricholoma ustale (Burnt Knight mushroom)
973). Leccinum scabrum (Birch Bolete)
974). Salticus scenicus(Zebra or Jumping Spider)
975). Hyperomyzus lacticae (Blackcurrant-Sowthistle Aphid)
976). Rhytisma acerinum (Tar-spot Fungi)
977). Conocybe lactea (White Dunce Cap )
978). Spergula arvensis (Corn Spurrey)
979). Odontites vernus (Red Bartsia)
980). Fallopia japonica (Japanese Knotweed)
981). Epiblema rosaecolana (a micro moth)
982). Tipula  paludosa (a Crane-fly)
983). Helena impuncta (a fly)
984). Cloeon Dipterum (Pond Olive)
985). Catocala nupta (Red Underwing)
986). Xanthia icteritia (Sallow)
987). Colotois pennaria (Feathered Thorn)
988). Rhizedra lutosa (Large Wainscot)
989). Lithophane leautieri (Blair's Shoulder-knot)
990). Allophyes oxyacanthae (Green-brindled Crescent)
991). Agrochola lota (Red-line Quaker)
992). Limnaecia phragmitella (a micro moth)
993). Xylota segnis (a hoverfly)
994). Laccaria laccata (The Deciever)   
995). Lactarius tabidus (Birch Milkcap)
996). Neuroterus numismalis (Silk Button Gall Wasp)
997). Coprinus niveus (Snowy Inkcap)

With 3 more to go next weekend could be it.

Common Darter and the galls on an oak leaf of the Silk Button Gall Wasp  

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

3 more - 958 and one that got away?

The moth trap had nearly 200 moths in it but well over half were of 2 species, Large and Lesser Yellow Underwings but inside the trap was a new species for the year, Barred Chestnut. The best moth however was the first moth I saw this morning, a male Vapourer, sitting on the outside of the trap. I have seen this species flying over the trees at the fell but this was the first to grace the garden.
In addition there was a pretty little Picture-wing fly which after checking turned out to be Herina lugubri.

Quite a few Swallows and House Martins flying south today, and though I will not count it, I am quite sure I heard a Tree Pipit overhead. I only heard the call twice and could not see the bird but I
reckon that is what it was

So the three new species brings the total to 958.

Orgyia antiqua (Vapourer)
Diarsia dahlii (Barred Chestnut)
Herina lugubris (Picture-wing Fly)

Monday, 2 September 2013

Time for an update

Time for an update as I have neglected the site a bit but still trying to see as many species as I can in the 1km square in the little time I have. At the end of August I had reached 950, so only 50 more to go.

I'll try and fully list the final 50.

The moth trap overnight produced nothing new though a Havestman after some checking was found to be number 951. It relied on checked a bit of waste ground, there's surprisingly very little in the square which produced to more plants and then sweeping the vegetation for hoverflies yesterday which gave be another two.

So the  list has now reached 955 with these -

951). Opilio saxatilis (a Harvestman)
952). Persicaria lapathifolia (Pale Persicaria)
953). Epilobium ciliatum  (American Willow-herb)
954). Melanostoma mellinum (a hoverfly)
955). Sphegina clunipes (a hoverfly) .

Birds   80
Vascular Plants   336
Mosses & Liverworts  41
Lichens   12
Fungi & Slime Moulds   13
Terrestrial Mammals   9
Butterflies   22
Moths   281
Dragonflies   9
Hoverflies   30
Other invertebrates   119
Amphibians & Reptiles   3
Aggregates & hybrids (not included) 21

Monday, 26 August 2013

Waldridge - 908 species - on the final straight

It's been a good month for the list and despite being away in Croatia for a while, I've gone past the 90% mark for my 1000 species in this Waldridge 1km square challenge

The moth trap has been most productive and even overnight last night gave me a few new for the year viz - 
Gortyna flavago (Frosted Orange)
Ypsolopha dentella  (Honeysuckle Moth)
Hydraecia micacea (Rosy Rustic)
Amphipyra tragopoginis (Mouse Moth)
Acleris emargana (a micro moth)
Mompha raschkiella (a micro moth)

Honeysuckle Moth

Dusky Thorn - there were 4 of this rather uncommon moth in the trap

 Having said that ,I am most pleased with the butterflies, having got everything I expected for in the square and after a fair bit of searching, I eventually added Purple Hairstreak to the 1ksq list having seen it juts outside the boundary earlier. I knew both this species and White-letter Hairstreak were lurking somewhere, but to get 22 species in my square is excellent.

Purple Hairstreak

 I'm also way past my expected bird list (by ten!) including a fly-over Yellow Wagtail yesterday which I thought I had dipped on as a bird in the spring did a U-turn meters away from the boundary. But not this one.
So it's the final straight and with me not back to work till next week and bit of effort I should not have to rely too much on bryophytes & fungi in the late autumn to get 1000 species.

This Garden Spider - Araneus diadematus in the garden is a particularly large specimen. The package all wrapped up is an unfortunate  Speckled Wood butterfly

Actual Expected
Birds   80 70
Vascular Plants   320 395
Mosses & Liverworts  41 50
Lichens   12 12
Fungi & Slime Moulds   13 20
Terrestrial Mammals   7 8
Butterflies   22 20
Moths   262 336
Dragonflies   9 9
Hoverflies   25 25
Other inverts   115 50
Amphibians & Reptiles   2 5
Aggregates & hybrids (not included)    21        
TOTAL 908 1000

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Early August update

It was quiet overnight in the moth trap, probably due to the weather, both in numbers and species with the first time in a while, no new species being seen that were new fort the year.

I haven't had much time to update the site as you can see but I have been getting onto the fell sometimes as fell as in the garden.
Amongst the more interesting of the moths since the last posting include Variegated Golden Tortrix, Svensson's Copper Underwing, Common Lutestring, Rosy Minor, Suspected, Rhyacionia pinicolana (a relative of the Pine Bud moth), Large Twin-spot Carpet and Olive. The latter two, were new for the garden and in fact the Olive was completely new for me.

Variegated Golden Tortrix

Rhyacionia pinicolana

Little Snipefly (Chrysopilus asiliformis)

Field Grasshopper

Common Green Grasshopper

Butterflies have been very showy and in decent to very good numbers. I have done the Big Butterfly count a couple of times at different spots, the other day I have 49 butterflies of 9 species in 15 minutes in the horse pasture above South Burn Woods. I had another good butterfly following on from the White-letter Hairstreak last month on the edge of Fell-edge Wood, in the way of it's cousin, the Purple Hairstreak. However I was a (very) little disappointed when I found out I count not add it to by list of species I have seen this year in the 1km square on the fell - NZ2549, as it was about 20, metres outside!


Meadow Brown

Small Skipper

Again I was nearly trampled on by a Roe Deer when I flushed one from some willow scrub in Wanister Bog. I was upwind from it some it must not have known I was there until I made a noise then for some reason ran towards me, turning away at the very last moment.
The birdlist is 76 for the year, better than I thought but I'll be lucky to add a couple more by the year's end.

My list for the square this year (1000for1ksq) is now 855, hopefully I can get to the planned 1000 with some effort.

The breakdown is

Birds   76
Vascular Plants   305
Mosses & Liverworts  41
Lichens   12
Fungi & Slime Moulds   13
Terrestrial Mammals   7
Butterflies   20
Moths   239
Dragonflies   5
Hoverflies   24
Other inverts   111
Amphibians & Reptiles   2
Aggregates & hybrids (not included) 21