Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Took a bit of time out from work today, and managed to get out for an afternoon pottering about at Ulverscroft NR with Adrian Russell. No particular plan or agenda, other than get some fresh air and poke about looking for anything interesting. We were also going to get in a bit of early spring mothing after a pint and bar-meal interlude.

I had hoped for some nice warm sunshine, but the sun was a bit late burning through. But we had a good long walk around the reserve, stopping periodically to check over, in or under fallen trees and deadwood. Surprisingly little found on the beetles front, though there are a couple of carabids to key out. One beetle I did find (but will have to wait to try and get a decent photo of) is Tetratoma fungorum which I know has been recorded from Ulverscroft before. It's a beetle of wood-decay fungi, especially Birch Polypore.

We found a few Ichneumon sp. in wood rot, something which has been noted recently on the PSL Facebook page. I'm assuming that they are hibernating there rather than actively seeking something to parasitise. No idea what species are involved as yet, but I have three potted up for future reference (and quite possibly three different species). The following two photos are of different individuals that look similar but are actually quite different in size.

Away from inverts, I found a new for me fungus ....

Common Grey Disco (Mollisia cinerea)

Also lots of this about ...

Hoof Fungus (Fomes fomentarius)

And I also managed to find a small liverwort ...

Bifid Crestwort (Lophocolea bidentata)

We stopped for a nice couple of pints and a bar meal at the Copt Oak, before heading to Charnwood Lodge to run traps. Unfortunately though the temperature plummeted even before the sun had fully set, and so we only gave it an hour and a half or so before packing up and calling it a day. There were a few moths in the traps, including Yellow Horned and Satellite, but the most numerous moth was Engrailed which we kept finding on tree trunks whilst mooching about between traps.

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