April 2014

Mendip Meanderings

oldbilluk's picture

Spent Tuesday wandering over the MOD land at Yoxter Ranges, on Somerset's Mendip Hills , doing a reconnaisance for a couple of Somerset Invertebrate Group Field Meetings there later in the year. A fabulous looking area for a brownfield site. Most of it was mined by the Romans for lead but the intervening years have softened the harsh edges and made it a great place for wildlife.

There were squadrons of Andrena and other bee species carrying on the mining traditions of the area and the highlight of the trip was a nice patch of Spring Sandwort...

Light Pollution

Benton's picture

Insects form the basis of prey for many species including bats and birds. Broad spectrum white light or light with a high ultraviolet content can 'hoover' up to 75% of the insects from a habitat -the so-called 'vacuum effect'. Around a third of these insects will die.

To read more on this subject there is a Yahoo Group  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/lightsandwildlife/info


Open Mosaic Habitat

Benton's picture

Greater protection exists for brownfield sites (from a very low base) with the Open Mosaic Habitat  OMH Survey Form and associated OMH Survey Handbook. This is the first time the UK has recognised brownfield as a Priority Habitat.

In order to qualify the following  5 criteria in the table need to be met. This will help recognise the importance of sites in the Thames Gateway. The photograph shows dead bramble stems on bare ground which offers oppotunities for breeding for some insect species.




Not really a blog - just a few sightings from the last couple of days. 

Had a wander around Woods Mill (Graeme and Penny's place of employment) yesterday to show mum some bluebells - and she also heard her first Nightingale :) The hoverfly Leucozona lucorum was new for me but only one (poor) photo as the damned thing wouldn't sit still! Saw some interesting spider behaviour in the vegetation by the big pond. One (terrible) photo, but the males were enthusiastically waving their palps around! Also saw my first Large Red Damsel for the year.

A single firebug at the Sompting...

Recent invertebrates

Bill D's picture

Just a few blog posts which may be of vague interest to PS listers... 



Damaged Balls

Skev's picture

Had a good relaxed couple of hours out late morning. Free from the shackles of last year's 1000 in 1kmsq, I spent most of the time in my 1kmsq ...


Nothing new for the list (at least I don't think so, but I have a couple of bits potted up to check). A few spring day-flying moths about (Adela reaumurella, Incurvaria masculella, Pammene rhediella, Elachista apicipunctella, Anthophila fabriciana) but otherwise a bit quiet apart from lots of diptera and sawflies of the varieties that I tend to ignore at the moment. Not much beetle action either, but Ischnomera cyanea nice...