Its been a busy week dobbing about on the Badlands that is South Linkisheer, a term coned by the county recorded which I have adopted. Before heading out to the best county in the world, a quick mention of a trip to a very good woodland…
Today post is powered by Bob Marley, Toots and the Maytals and Jimmy Cliff.
03/08/2015 – Sherwood Forest, Notts
Me and Meg headed over to the wood for a poke about and a quick visit to the best tree it has to offer… not the Major Oak, as grand as it is. The tree in question is nick named the Medusa tree, I think a fave of my old lecturer, A. Alder. A stunning tree with a thick base and multi stemmed sprawling and twisted branches. If you hear the word ‘perambulations’ and get a bit excited, this link here is for you to some nice woodland history.
… I do love a bit of woodland history. Back to some fauna and flora…
Pyropterus nigroruber – 1159. Meg spotted this, a brilliant spot as I had began to move on. I knew what it was as soon as I saw it, a bleddy scarce netwing. Checking later on, two had been recorded from Sherwood, the other similar species has yellow tips to the last segment of the antenna. P. nigroruber is a stunning beetle close up, taking the common name for the group from the patterning on the wings. They are a national notable & scarce species, a real treat to see one.
Phytomyza lappae – 1160. While walking about, we noticed the odd leaf mine on burdock. I was interested, leaf mines make an awesome pattern that can be keyed… well most of them, some require more than the mine. Thankfully this was a fairly easy species of diptera to identify. Seems to be a bit of a gap around the Nottinghamshire area for this species although I’m sure this doesn’t reflect its status in the county.
Vaccinium myrtillus, bilberry – 1161. Surrounded by a wire fence, the woods last remaining few plants of bilberry are encircled to protect them. I’m guessing this is a bit of a shame or they wouldn’t have gone to the trouble. I couldn’t really get close enough to get a good look at it for obvious reasons.
04/08/2015 – Walking for Carabids, Billingborough, Sth Lincs
Spurred on by the joys of walking at night for ground beetles, I did the route between Billingborough and Horbling. I chuckled to myself as after 45 minutes I looked back and realised I had walked no more than 20m! Nothing unusual about but worth every second. The numbers from a 75m stretch of pavement are in…
Calathus fuscipes – 10
Pterostichus madidus – 16
Harpalus rufipes – 5
Carabus violaceus – 1
Anchomenus dorsalis – 1
Calathus melanocephalus – 3
05/08/2015 – Bulby, Sth Lincs
Butomus umbellatus, flowering rush – 1162. I have been meaning to ID this for a few weeks but forgot. While I had my camera on me trying to photograph a kingfisher, I snapped a shot of this. I wish I had done it sooner… an easy one to do. Stunning flower, I myself thought it was a rush. It isn’t, something I found out when scanning my plant books under the sections “Grasses, rushes and sedges”. Unable to find it, I fell into the internet and typed ‘flowering rush’. Bloody bingo! I’d managed to guess the common name from what it looked like… jammy!
Other things recorded that day together with the king fisher was a raven, a number of peacocks and commas plus a heavy dose of Eriothrix rufomaculata.
06/08/2015 – Bourne South Fen, Sth Lincs
The kestrels seemed to be defending a strip of poplar trees not far from the yard. I noticed crows and a buzzard being chased of during the course of the day. A few common butterflies dotted about the xmas trees as me and JL pruned them. We did find a badger latrine, something I dived straight into… with a stick of course. One beetle species – Glischrochilus hortensis. I can confirm that the badger was on a vegetarian diet.
Chrysoesthia drurella – 1163. One new species for the day, I always like to get at least one a day. The large areas of fat hen offered a leaf mine from a very small moth, a very stunning small moth which I think I’m going to have to rear on so I can have a neb at it. It can be seen at the link here.
07/08/2015 – Bourne South Fen
Phasia obesa – 1164. A rather attractive fly that stood out to me and JL as being a bit different. As always, the genus he thought it was in the field turned out to be spot on. The mans knowledge is outstanding! It was dobbing and shombling about on the golden rod. It took a bit of catching but I managed to secure it in a pot for curating and identifying later. Confirmed on the FB Diptera page, I can’t find a lot out about it other than it is a parasite of Heteropteran bugs.
Now, the real highlight of the day came at around 11:00, my second fave beetle was sat on one of the wellentonia trees. It was laying eggs, where wasps gather wood…it was of course Metoecus paradoxus. I wrote this two years ago, just before stopping blogging if I remember rightly – see here. Don’t quote me on that link, it was a few years ago and I didn’t know a great deal… I still don’t but you know what I mean. A stunning beast.
In other news, I’m beginning to get a real sense of what I’m doing now and the headway I’m making. With the possibility of some beetle cases from a museum (a bold venture it was asking too!) alongside the offer of some staph beetle dissection in person from seasoned beetle herder…. breath… plus my presidential role as the NTU Conservation Society president kicking off soon, it feels like after a few years of buggering about, I am finally making some progress. I can’t call myself a coleopterist yet however.
Give this a listen too, a frequent selection of songs that accompany me while beetling on my own.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btomXvCcbYo – Toots and the Maytals