Sunday, 31 August 2014

My only post this month and only just

I have been very lazy with my posts and I have just managed to get a post in during August. I have been out and about but not only around here but a little further afield occasionally.
A little pastime I have challenged myself with is what is called Pan-Listing. Quite a few naturalists, many a great deal better than myself, have started listing and a very good site has been started.

As it says (copied verbatim from the site) -  "A pan-species list is a list of all the animals, plants, fungi and protists you have seen in Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands. Whether a Daisy or a Death's-head Hawk-moth, a Killer Whale or a Killer Shrimp, all species count as equal on your pan-species list. Although this may seem like the trivialisation of natural history to the accumulation of a big list, it's what is behind the list - how you get there - that makes this approach to natural history so powerful. Add a healthy dose of competitiveness in the form of the rankings pages and thanks to Mark Telfer, pan-species listing was born. Will this bring about a 'renaissance of the all-round naturalist'?"

So I have been counting up all my species and trying for more, no matter what they are.  I'm on 2601 by the way #28.

The moth trap overnight caught  a rather poor selection with nothing new even for the year but today was just a walk around the fell to see what was about.  Late August is usually quite quiet around here for birds but today was an exception with a flock of 30 Tree Sparrow in the hedge along Waldridge Lane until they were flushed by no less than a juvenile Peregrine that then headed on eastwards.
 Willow Tits have declined by 85% in the UK so now the Fell seems to be one of their  last strongholds. I saw birds at 5 different spots today. Another rapidly declining species, is the Yellow Wagtail but one flew over the fell late morning.

The Horse-chestnut Leafminer is a tiny little moth with a big bad reputation that is causing havoc to Horse Chestnut trees in the UK. It did not arrive in Britain until 2002 but its rapid spread means its well established even in Waldridge now. One tree along Beany Lane is very badly affected I noticed this morning

The leafminer damage

 A lot of butterflies were out considering the time of year with Speckled Woods seemingly everywhere and Walls not far behind. Several Commas were also seen and a single Painted Lady.

Comma (showing it's 'comma')

On the dragonfly front single Common and Southern Hawker  were noted as well as a few Black Darter at the same spot I found them last year and decent numbers of Common Darter, especially on Daisy Hill.

Immature male Common Darter

And I got one new 'lifer' a fruit fly  Xyphosia miliaria on thistle at the south end of Felledge Wood.