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.