Saturday, 12 February 2011

Lights on... office opens for a new season

So after the winter lull, Friday night saw the moth lights out at Tophill Low NR for the first time this year. Not sure what time they got emptied, but the enthusiasts sorted through the 6 which were caught... all Pale-brindled Beautys the catch. As a good sleeper I didn't feel so guilty for having a lie in!!! But the early start to the season poses a few questions. What will be caught in 2011? Will we catch Red Swordgrass this spring? (I'll find and post a photo of the only record ever of this spring species) Can we add to site list this year? 2010 was pretty good and a lot of target 'yeah we'll catch'em eventually' species, have been added. So we shall just have to wait and see. And that is before we delve into the micros!

After writing of catching new species for the Tophill Low NR list... even these are now appearing in the car park! A few years ago this would have been hard to add to a Tophill year list as a 'species using the site'. (Sorry but better as flyovers)

Other than what was an on-site rare a few years ago, a tour of the reserve yielded a redhead Smew at Watton Nature Reserve amongst the usual wildfowl sundries. Several Bramblings in the car park brightened up the tea drinking, 5 Goosander roosted on D Res at dusk and once again the gull roost failed to turn up anything interesting. However, 46 Cormorants flew high north at dusk. A spring movement? First time in 10 winters I've seen a flock that big fly high north

Onto fungi... Some good clumps (if that is the correct term?) of Jews Ear noted.

And the list included Scurfy Twiglet, Velvet Shank, Crystal Brain, Yellow Brain (anyone noticed how scarce it is this year?) some old Dead Man's Fingers and some Coral Spot... which means I'm now scraping the barrel for writing!

But there are signs of spring. Snowdrops are showing well...

The Skylarks are singing on bright sunny mornings, and it will soon be time for summer migrants passing through. And for interest it will soon be Odonata season... the way the weekends and historic records fall suggests (given the weather) a potential earliest date ever in area VC61 (SE Yorkshire) is in the offing.

Spring is coming, almost time to play the game.

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