I’ve started the Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management foundation degree at Brackenhurst, the place I completed my BTEC in Countryside Management last year. I got a D*D*, a la thankies. I have one day of a week to head back to the mother land and work for Peter and John on the Christmas tree nursery which is going to be epic, because I love doing the work and it means plenty of ponking.
Near Bourne, 24/09/2014
Hooks out, demolition of the large thistles remaining between the trees was on the agenda for the morning and then when the sun had got rid of most of the damp, hands and knees weeding. We took a quick trip around the yard so he could show me a few different and interesting things kicking about. Another bit of a mixed back, covering a few different taxa which is nice. As well as the newbies on the list, the following were found,
Endomychus coccineus, leistus spinibarbis, dead mans fingers and sparrow hawk to name a few.
Lunar Underwing – 760, found in the poly tunnel flapping about against the sheet. Noticed it on the break while refreshing on juice and cake, it was cakey Tuesday after all. Quite a common moth with a netted appearance from the cross lines. The larvae over winter on grasses.
Iron Prominent – 761, just the caterpillar was found clinging to an alder. Couldn’t find it again with the camera at hand.
Euphorbia maculata, Spotted Spurge – 762, introduced weed.
Didea Fasciata – 763, nice little hoverfly that John spotted on a willow invested with willow aphid (see below) being harvested by wasps. The little fly never had much time to settle and gave me a hard time photographing.
Taphrina alni – 764, possibly my fave find of the day. An interesting fungal plant pathogen that grows from the side of the cones and has the common name, alder tongue fungi. Apparently quite rare but now spreading, Here.
Maple Leafed Goosefoot – 765, growing all over the site.
Red Goosefoot – 766, growing in places on the site.
Scaphisoma agaricinum – 767, really really small and tear shaped. Found under one of the ponk logs (a felled tree stump with a small thin slice of wood placed on top) and spotted by Lamin. Found on rotting wood and fungi, previously recording in Lincs.
Tuberolachnus salignus, Giant Willow Aphid – 768, a huge aphid found crawling all over a tree, also invested with wasps as mentioned before. Couldn’t get really close to them with all the activity, a “pest species”.
Perennial Sow Thistle – 769, something I’ve missed up until now and something I’ll probably see a lot more of when weeding the site, sorry, de flowering the wildflowers.
First proper ponk of the new academic year and it turned up some nice finds. I went on a wildlife walk with the course and departed half way through for some dinner as I know the site like the back of my hand now. Later that day I went out with ConSoc, the Conservation Society for Nottingham Trent Uni to meet the other members and get my face about.
Black Bryony – 770, found in the morning growing along an old sheep driving lane. At first I thought it was a type of bindweed but something wasn’t right. The leafs were much more shiny and the red berries threw me. A quick post on the wildflower FB page and the ID was given. A nice plant in my eyes.
Pogonocherus hispidus – 771, the lesser thorn tipped longhorn beetle. Say no more, only a spectacular beetle gets a name like that. I walked through Big Dickholme and beat a small deadwood log at about waist height, it popped out. I immediately knew it was a longhorn and decided it was distinctive enough to warrant not collecting, a photo would do. The photos did just about do and it’s a species I’m going to have to find again to photograph. It’s been added to the saproxylic beetle list for the site I’m compiling, now not just for a small woodland on site but for the whole estate which will hopefully give a better indication to the quality of deadwood.
Phragmites australis – 772, found in Sheepwalks pond and something I’ve only know noticed which sounds daft as it is massive. An important reed that covers many wetlands that is crucial for wetland breeding birds.
Omonadus floralis – 773, some difficulty with this. Tubercles. I instantly noticed it looked like an ant under the scope which lead me to the Anthicidae family and then down to two species, O. floralis or O. formicarius. The first had the tubercles, the second didn’t. “What the Jeff are Tubercles” I hear the enthused crowd cheer? Small bumps, in this genus the small tubercles are on the front of the pronotum, the bit between the head and body to abandon all scientific naming. The PSL FB page heralded the answer from Martin Harvey with a handy picture showing the details I was looking for. It had tubercles an so the species was identified. Boom.
A cracking start to the year at Brack and the place I shall be heading off to tomorrow morning for an early ponk, ConSoc task day in the evening. Ponk on.