Sunday, 31 December 2017

Pan Species 2017

This is the time of year to look back at what was seen over the last 12 months, and to look forward to doing more in the next 12 (where have I heard that before?)  2018 will be my last year of work before I retire at the end of December, so time will still be limited.  Although I do only work a 4 day week, there is always something that needs to be done which eats into PSL time.

Anyway, at the end of 2017 my list stands at 1471, an increase of exactly 100 over the last year, made up as follows:

Fungi: 19

Mostly identified on a local Fungi Foray at Hollesley, in October.  These included the interesting Parasitic Bolete, Pseudoboletus parasiticus on its host the Common Earthball,  Scleroderma citrinum

I also managed to find 3 species of Choke Fungus, Epichloe, which are determined by the species of grass on which they are found.  This one is Epichloe festucae, found on Festuca rubra, on our overgrown garden lawn.

Flowering Plants: 4

I started 2017 on 664, so its not that easy to add plants any more.  However 3 were on a farm walk with Jonny Stone near Ipswich, Persicaria hydropiper, Carex pilulifera and Mentha arvensis which just goes to show the benefit of an expert pair of eyes, and the fourth was a probable garden escape at Flatford Smyrnium perfoliatum.

Spiders: 3

Apart from plants, birds and perhaps butterflies, I have plenty of room for improvement.  I have acquired the new Spider guide this year but have not yet made much use of it.  New for 2017 included Agelena labyrinthica, the Labyrinth Spider, found in my garden and also locally.

Crustaceans: 2

Two woodlice from the garden which I am sure I have seen very many times, but never given a name to Armadillidium vulgare and Philoscia muscorum.

Silverfish: 1

Likewise I remember seeing these as a child, but had never added them to my list.  I found one in our bathroom this year.

Bugs: 6

An assortment of shield bugs and the smart Red and Black Froghopper.  This is Dolycoris baccarum, the Hairy Shield Bug.

Bees etc: 18

2017 was a good year for bees for me, I did a weekend course at Flatford Mill and made contact with some local hymenopterists.  Still plenty to go at though.  We seem to have quite a good garden for bees, I recorded Andrena florea, the Bryony Mining Bee here this year.  Several other new bees were seen on a field trip to Fingringhoe Wick nature reserve in Essex.

Looking over to Felixstowe Ferry from the garden

Beetles: 9

I don't know if I should be worried but these included 2 types of carpet beetle found in the house, and various garden pests such as Figwort Weevil and Rosemary Beetle!

Rosemary Beetle

Flies: 8

An assortment, mainly hovers, but also soldierflies and the aptly named Ivy Waspgrabber, Leopoldius signatus.

Butterflies: 1

I added Large Skipper to the list.  I am sure I have seen this before but recorded one in the garden.

Moths: 28

This is where I intend to make some progress next year, as I now have a moth trap.  In 2017 the majority of new records were from the wall of my office at work where an outside light is left on overnight.  This Garden Tiger Moth was rescued from nearly being run over by the post van!

Lacewings: 1

A Green Lacewing.

I am looking forward to 2018.  I have bought myself a small campervan and intend to use it for short trips and weekends away, where I can concentrate on wildlife.  I have a day course booked with the FSC in Epping Forest, on Spring Moths at the end of April, and I intend to join the PSL weekend down in Cornwall in June.  

Apart from this I am working on a proper Garden List, and there are still plenty of things to get to grips with, not least mosses and lichens!

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