Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Manic Miner

The leaf-mining micro-moth Stigmella malella, found yesterday on apple leaves, was number 1,700 on the Nunnery Lakes all-taxa list (including aggregates not identifiable by us to species). Quite a few new leaf-miners in the last week, plus an excellent weekend fungus foray where we were again joined by Tony Leech. The fungal highlight was the first Entoloma atrocoeleum for the east of England, plus the first inland Norfolk record of Galerina atkinsoniana. Other new fungi included Blackening Waxcap, White Spindles, Orange Mosscap, Yellow Fieldcap, Shaggy Ink-cap, Clustered Domecap, Ugly Milkcap and Tiger's Eye.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Brick by brick

More autumnal goodies in the moth trap this morning, including several Sallows, 2 Brindled Greens, a Black Rustic and TEAL ticks in the form of Blair's Shoulder-knot and Brick.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Influx of waterbirds!

I accompanied John Marchant on his monthly WeBS count round the Lakes this lunchtime and contrary to what normally happens (ie all interesting webbed-footed birds vanish), there was a mini-influx of waterfowl! OK so nothing earth-shattering but 28 Tufted Duck (up from <10 of late), a Little Grebe (my fourth record for 2011) and a pair of Shoveler (only my second of the year) were a significant improvement on recent fare.

Friday, 16 September 2011

New fungi too

Finally a fungi we can identify - a Common Stinkhorn. Hope to get round to looking at the photos we've taken recently and add a few more.

Heath Rustic

Only 55 moths in 2 traps this morning... but there was definitely quality if not quantity. Along with one each of autumn specialities Brown-spot Pinion, Frosted Orange, Autumnal Rustic, Large Wainscot and Brindled Green was what looks the part for Heath Rustic - a potential first for TL88 and not previously recorded in Norfolk this year!

Photos by Dawn Balmer

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Thank heavens for little galls...

Additions to the list are getting a bit harder to come by now - where have all the insects gone? Still, there are new things to be found and I've turned up a few galls this week, including Aceria fraxinivora (ash), Jaapiella veronicae (speedwell), Dasineura ulmaria (meadowsweet), Dasineura auritae (sallow), Puccinia urticata (nettle) and Taphrina alni (alder). A few more leaf-mines knocked off the target list too, including a rather belated appearance by the usually easy Stigmella aurella (bramble) plus Caloptilia stigmatella (sallow), Phyllonorycter ulmifoliella (birch) and Liriomyza amoena (elder). We've (well, Dawn mainly) also photographed lots of fungi but are still looking for names for most of them - will cover these in a future post. My favourite addition of the week though was this cool looking harvestman doing the splits, which Mike Toms has kindly identified for me as Dicranopalpus ramosus. Looking at the distribution maps, it might even be a new one for Norfolk (I bet it isn't though...)

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Raptors are the only birds that count

During my first wander at the lakes for a few weeks, I happened to look up from the plants and insects and for the zillionth time wondered if a distant gull might be an Osprey. And at last, it was. Bird no 150 for my Nunnery list and one more for the TEAL list (as was a poxy little gall, to be identified, but it's not quite the same to be honest).


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Birds are the only things that count

Thanks to local birder Jim Gurney, The Lodge year list keeps trickling upwards - these two Whinchats were found by him on Sandy Heath today, making 134 for the year.  We're still missing Yellow-legged Gull...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Raptors as predicted...

Well raptors there were this lunchtime (3 Buzzard and 2 each of Hobby, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk), but still a distinct lack of anything new. 7 September Swifts were probably the highlight (though if I'd been in a more 'optimistic' mood, the large, full-tailed, big-headed Accipiter mobbing a Buzzard might have made for an addition to my personal Lakes list... but I need to save something for next year!).

Dot Month

It pains me to say this but its finally happened - an entire month has gone by without the addition of a single species for the BirdTrack Challenge. Whilst The Lodgers have been 'employing' an ever-increasing range of tactics (unseen toilet waders, plastic parakeets, nefarious non-staff Nightjars and the like) to keep their list ticking over, the White Nuns might as well be renamed the White Nones (or something ruder), for all that our own efforts of intense craptor* watching and wader habitat creation have yielded.

Still, light easterlies and scattered cloud today... surely there must be something better than the 5 Buzzards and single Sparrowhawk that we managed at coffee time?

*craptor = Corvid, Grey Heron, large gull, distant Woodpigeon... ie pretty much anything that momentarily fools you into thinking you're on to something interesting