Saturday, 19 August 2017

Soldiering on

A weekend heavily dominated by a wonderful 3 hour session patrolling mayweed on the shore. Every slow trek along the stretch turned up something new, including two fantastic flies. The first, which I thought was a Gonia, I now realise isn't and I'll have to look at it properly. What a bizarre mistake to make.

Anyway ... the second , which is new for the county at least, and possibly new to Scotland, is the soldierfly Chorisops nagatomii. Both species of the genus are southerly in distribution but nagatomii is a late summer species and in all references consulted so far has no Scottish records. Once I establish the species ID is good I'll cross check to see if someone else has pipped me to the post.

yellow humeri and posterior calli are key to the, erm, key


869 Tipula fulvipennis A cranefly
870 Hebeloma crustuliniforme A fungus
871 Diarsia dahlii Barred Chestnut
872 Chorisops nagatomii A Soldier Fly
873 Sericomyia silentis A hoverfly
874 Vanessa atalanta Red admiral
875 Erisyphe cichoracearum A fungus
876 Pipiza noctiluca A hoverfly
877 Pteridium aquilinum Bracken
878 Rhagoletis alternata A tephritid fly
879 Coniophora puteana A fungus
880 Eristalis arbustorum A hoverfly
881 Kaestneria A Linyphiid spider
882 Dilophus femorata A Bibionid fly


Friday, 18 August 2017

Skool daze

With the first day of school (my son's first day ever at school) summer is now officially over. Fortunately August's usually a good month for flies and I'm looking forward to the ivy bursting into flower.

A couple of days of picking up the pace has seen a spread of additions. Nothing spectacular but a lovely new wasp for me yesterday and a couple of missing hovers. Some things in pots too so should be able to creep over the 870 mark.


Ectemnius cavifrons

Eristalis horticola

LBBYU

Numbers:
860 Lycoperdon pyriforme Stump Puffball
861 Anthus trivialis Tree Pipit
862 Plagiognathus arbustorum A mirid bug
863 Argyresthia semitestacella Large Beech Argent
864 Lycaena phlaeas Small Copper
865 Eristalis pertinax A hoverfly
866 Ectemnius cavifrons A digger wasp
867 Dasysyrphus albostriatus A hoverfly
868 Noctua janthe Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Slow dive

So I spent the last few days unwinding all the gains of early in the month and am now back needing >3 spp per day to finish before end of September. That should still be ok, though, and with so few days even one good day will push it back under 3 anyway.

After clocking a larch in the school playground in January I finally scored with Suillus grevillei the day before term started. It's a long time for something you know is coming! My biggest "hole" this month is the moth total I expected and which has been badly damaged by either rain or cold, clear nights. There is still hope, though. Vismig has produced precious little although the expected Tree Pipit finally came up this morning. Should still be a few going past for a couple of weeks anyway. A kingfisher was nice to have though and I saw it/another again this morning.


Additions:
857 Alcedo atthis Kingfisher
858 Suillus grevllei Larch Bolete
859 Helina reversio A muscid fly
860 Lycoperdon pyriforme Stump Puffball
861 Anthus trivialis Tree Pipit

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Photos - down with the sickness

My Picasa has decided to stop showing me photos, including editing them. This is a source of some considerable annoyance to me since I use it every day to process 100s of photos. Sigh. Anyway, I'll have to make do with unedited photos until I can get something sorted out. This is a a Potato Capsid



I initialy identified it correctly, then misidentified it subsequently somehow then had that corrected by Maria Justalmond via iRecord. Thank goodness for vigilant verifiers!

And my third Sarco, which I'm well happy about, processed before Picasa came down with the sickness. Or it could be anything really. I'll wait until a grown up comes along and tells me what it really is!


Additions:
848 Sarcophaga vagans A Flesh Fly
849 Campyloneura virgula A mirid bug
850 Fallopia convolvulus Black-bindweed
851 Eristalis pertinax A hoverfly
852 Closterotomus norwegicus Potato Capsid
853 Paroligolophus agrestis A harvestman

Monday, 7 August 2017

Small white, bee, balls

This and that.. getting exciting now! Was hoping to get past 850 at the weekend but see note on moth walk!

Some lovely earth balls in the grounds of the chapel of the Earls of Moray - a small ruined building hidden between houses and surrounded by mostly uninteresting grass.



Fife's newest bee - Lasioglossum albipes



and the ironic award of the year - the only lep added from a nocturnal walk goes to ... several Small Whites roosting in grass. Easy to see at night though!.


I've gone back and forth on this knotgrass. It could be even-leaved or it could be just a little one. I may need a consultant.


Oh! I almost forgot! The amazing foreleg of Curtonotus convexiusculus. Straight out the pages of a Warhmammer bestiary.


Additions:
837 Tussilago farfara Coltsfoot
838 Pimpinella saxifraga Burnet Saxifrage
839 Coprinus comatus Shaggy Inkcap
840 Pieris rapae Small White
841 Polygonum aviculare  Knotgrass
842 Scaeva pyrastri Scaeva pyrastri
843 Meliscaeva auricollis Meliscaeva auricollis
843 Lasioglossum albipes Lasioglossum albipes
844 Curtonotus convexiusculus A Ground beetle
845 Erysiphe polygoni A fungus
846 Coprinus auricomus A fungus
847 Conops quadrifasciatus A conopid fly

Friday, 4 August 2017

Vismig charts

Timing of non-wader/waterfowl visible migration for species targetting. Birds will make up only 1/10 of the species but I'll do vismigging anyway since I've waited so long to live in a place where I can do it outside my house!

Marsh harriers are definitely on the move as two reported from Fife sites this week.



Grilling mushrooms

A small mixed bag over the last couple of days with two lifer flies which also seem to be new-for-county despite being fairly common. This is par for the course - there are more undiscovered flies in Fife than in the Amazon basin. Well, probably ...

Last night was a definite bonus as I headed out for a walk while looking for evidence of any bird migration. As I returned home empty-handed I noticed a movement on the rocks below me and jammed into a Common Sandpiper. I've heard calls a couple of times that made me think Common Sand, but never laid eyes on the beast. In all probability these were different birds anyway with passage birds fairly common along the coastal rocks here but never hanging around for long. It's a nice one to catch though as it's an "importance of being there" kind of species. You blink, you miss it.

After grilling some mushrooms for three days -a long time for grilling mushrooms - I finally found what I was looking for in the Collins mushrooms and toadstools guide. An unlikely but welcome result! The Wood Woollyfoot is a fairly distinctive species but despite narrowing it to family my eyes apparently just missed the appropriate pictures every time. Anyway, it's all done now. Phew!

Fife's new blowfly...

Pollenia pediculata - Hairy-armpit Clusterfly

The easiest keying ever
And the Wood Woollyfoot ...

"fairy ring"

The woolly foot

Additions of 02-03/08:
829 Tubaria furfuracea Scurfy Twiglet
830 Chrysogaster solstitialis A hoverfly
831 Larus argentatus Herring Gull
832 Achanthiptera rohrelliformis A muscid fly
833 Pollenia pediculata Tufted Clusterfly
834 Scleroderma citrinum Common Earthball
835 Collybia peronata Wood Woollyfoot
836 Actitis hypoleucos Common Sandpiper