November 2014

Ghost-hunting in Wales

Meeting up with Chris Owen and Dave Gibbs in South Wales to look for Ghost Slug turned out to be one of the best days' fieldwork of the year:
http://markgtelfer.co.uk/2014/11/12/into-the-valley-of-the-millipedes-pa...

... not least because we discovered two, yes TWO, millipedes new to Britain!
http://markgtelfer.co.uk/2014/11/12/into-the-valley-of-the-millipedes-pa...

It would make a...

Recording wild stick insect populations in the south and south west of the UK

Right I have been back out at last after 3 years absence doing what I love doing at this time of year which is recording wild stick insect populations in the UK. Thought you might be interested in this population of now established Bacillus rossius that occurs in Hampshire. The only other populations I have seen for this species was two sites I discovered new for the Isles of Scilly on Tresco back in 2002 which Paul brock told me he found them at again those locations last year. At the Hampshire location I thought how many mins would it take me to find the first one? How about 2 seconds!!...

Bored with fungi yet?

Last weekend I went to the New Forest to see the HFRGs (Hampshire Fungus Recording Group) display at the reptilary and go on one of the guided walks. I joined the group after going to this annual event two years ago and it was good to see some of the rather charismatic(!) members there. 

Incredibly, for the last day of October, there were still snakes basking in the enclosures. A single Grass Snake and four Adders including a very young one and a black individiual.

...

The New Forest's Weird and Wonderful Plants - Part 2

This is the second installment of my first day botanising the New Forest with Tony Davis (relax - it's also the last installment). So we'd dropped in to Beaulieu River and Hatchet Pond and seen Dwarf Spike-rush, Yellow Azalea, Hampshire Purslane, Lesser Water Plantain, Coral Necklace, Many-stalked Spike-rush, Nuttall's Waterweed, Shoreweed, White-beaked Sedge, Pale Butterwort and Coloured Water Lily in the first part of the outing - all of which were lifers for me. And not forgetting the Medicinal Leech which was also a lifer. Next stop was Crockford Bridge where Tony was promising a...

The New Forest's Weird and Wonderful Plants - Part 1

OK, so I've really let this whole blogging mallarkey slip a bit lately. To make amends I'm going to hurl a few postings your way, starting where I left off - way back at the start of September...

Tony Davis (currently somewhat above me in the rankings) lives just a few miles from where I'm now living. He suggested a jaunt into the New Forest in search of some of the less common plants found there. I gladly accepted and before long I was being driven towards the first of many botanical delights. First up was the staggeringly underwhelming rarity that is Dwarf Spike Rush (...

Sticky twitching

When is a twitch not a twitch? What IS a twitch? I suppose it's any trip to see something, whether you've seen it before or not. Is twitching all bad? I got very jaded when working at Pagham Harbour and hoardes of twitchers would descend to see a rare bird. The majority would be fine but there was always the oxygen-thief who would need to walk through a high-tide wader roost to get a better photo of a bird or try and flush a rarity from cover. And the majority would always, surprisingly, remain silent. It was fairly amusing to see the reaction of these idiots when told off by a woman (yes...

Surprise migration

Last week it became obvious that migrant moths were arriving in the south so the trap came out of hibernation and brightened the garden on two very mild, damp nights. On the first night there was an invasion of craneflies, lacewings and caddisflies (which as still awaiting identification) but the only migrants by the time I retired in the early hours were some Udea ferrugalis (Rusty-dot Pearls). The following morning there was an interesting Mocha sp on the trap which was potted. The egg boxes were checked and amongst a seasonal selection including Satellites and Red-green Carpets were 19...

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