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


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.

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!

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.

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

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The first time ...

... ever I saw your face..


New in at 831 - Herring Gull! Here's a pic from the RSPB so I remember what they look like.

Other additions:
827 Plagiomnium undulatum Hart's-tongue Thyme-moss
828 Galeopsis tetrahit Common Hemp-nettle
829 Tubaria furfuracea Scurfy Twiglet
830 Chrysogaster solstitialis A hoverfly
831 Larus argentatus Herring Gull

Incredible String Band

On reviewing my plant records against the local flora some interesting question marks have come up, and some bang-to-rights wrong 'uns. And now I find this in the Nature of Fife annals ...

Archaeognatha - bristletails
Petrobius brevistylis : Widespread on sea-cliffs.
Petrobius maritimus : I of May


Another one for checking, along with my Bur-dock and my Water-cress and ...

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Swings and Roundabouts

Four days ago, on 798, I was pondering how long it was taking me to get over the 800 hump. It seemed to go on forever. Now, four days later, such is the swings-and-roundabout effect of the project I'm 1/4 way to 900. And the day isn't finished! No doubt on 890 everything will seem to go into slow motion again...

A few forgotten and sorted out plants were added this morning, so I was content to head to the gym at lunchtime in inclement weather. Closed for refurbishment. Not one to fight the hand of destiny I headed for the very nearest point in my square which was the shortest drive away and with immediate access from the moment I leave the car. The fungus faeries had been. A quick three additions and some things in a pot were bagged in about 20 minutes. With a following wind I may be 1/3 of the way to 900 by close of play!

Common Puffball

Milking Bonnet

Common Funnel - abundant

821 Torilis japonica Upright Hedge Parsley
822 Angelica sylvestris Wild Angelica
823 Sonchus arvensis Perennial Sow-thistle
824 Lycoperdon perlatum Common Puffball
825 Clitocybe gibba Common Funnel
826 Mycena galopus Milking Bonnet

End of July report

Everything still going swimmingly and a targetted completion of end September currently requires a rate of 3 spp./day, which is about where the rate has been since February.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul
Algae 8 13 16 17 17 17 17
Lichens 37 41 43 44 46 46 47
Fungi 28 31 44 49 53 56 72
Plants - Vascular 47 63 74 92 107 117 158
Plants - Bryo 22 29 30 30 30 30 30
Mollusc 9 24 27 33 33 33 33
Arachnida 4 13 20 25 32 33 33
Collembola 8 10 12 12 12 12 12
Hemiptera 2 4 6 8 16 21 22
Hymenoptera 1 3 8 13 19 22 23
Coleoptera 6 17 17 21 49 51 54
Diptera 4 7 12 41 68 86 101
Lepidoptera 1 2 9 14 29 63 87
Invert - Other 19 26 37 41 43 44 46
Vert - Birds 38 50 56 62 64 64 74
Vert - Other 2 4 8 9 9 10 11

236 337 419 511 627 705 820

It's hard to believe that the same rate can be maintained but we are still in high season and perhaps it's harder to believe it won't. Moths have plenty of life left in them. Migrant birds are starting to filter through. A major sweep for plants is still turning up new material and there are all those spiders coming into maturity. Flies have been a little neglected in the last week or two and there must be some joy to be had there. Last but not least fungi are definitely ramping up as we get to the end of the summer.

targetted end 31-Dec 31-Dec 31-Dec 31-Dec 31-Dec 31-Dec 31-Dec 30-Sep
date 31-Jan 28-Feb 31-Mar 30-Apr 31-May 30-Jun 31-Jul 01-Aug
days remaining 334 306 275 245 214 184 153 60
species so far 236 337 419 511 627 705 820 820
species/day period 7.61 3.61 2.65 3.07 3.74 2.60 3.71 0.00
spec/day so far 7.61 5.71 4.66 4.26 4.15 3.90 3.87 2.69
species remaining 764 663 581 489 373 295 180 180
spec/day rqd 2.29 2.17 2.11 2.00 1.74 1.60 1.18 3.00
spec/week rqd 16.01 15.17 14.79 13.97 12.20 11.22 8.24 21.00

Year progression, compared to previous "year efforts" at my local reserve.

Year progression by class, showing the recent emphasis on plants, the start of the fungus season and the arrival/passage of the first migrant birds