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

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Simple Mines

This evening when I left work the sun was shining and it had warmed up a fair bit. I've had a lazy few days for one reason or another and wanted to get out, but knew that there would be very little time for much. As it happens I was copied on an e-mail earlier in the day from our CMR, Adrian Russell, with ideas for a bit of square-bashing for leaf mining moths based on squares that are devoid of records of one of our commonest leaf miners - Parornix anglicella. The (very reasonable) theory being that tetrads with no records of this species have probably never been covered for any leaf mining species. I quickly checked the nearest empty square - SP6086 a bit south-east of home near to the village Walton ....

There are two roads that run through the square, so likely it would be possible to park up and have a mooch along a hedgerow. I'd never knowingly been into this square, and certainly there is nothing in it that would normally warrant any interest. A closer look on satellite view did nothing to change that view. Lots of fields, not lots of woodland or copses and not much in the way of access.

In both of the above maps, there is a point marked 'recording'. This was in no way a pre-planned spot - it is simply where I stopped once on the right road and checked that I was in the square before parking up and getting out.

If I had pre-planned it, I would be very smug at the fact that right here was a decent range of hedgerow trees and shrubs plus some non-natives planted there I imagine many years ago. As I didn't pre-plan it I just feel lucky. Within 20 meters or so either side of where I pulled into a field entry were: oak, ash, rowan, lime, elm sp, 'cherry' prunus sp., hawthorn, blackthorn, bittersweet, bramble, rosa sp., bindweed, willowherbs and other low-growing vegetation. Plenty to look through in the c40 mins I had left of daylight.

I've ended up with a bagful of mines, most common and readily identifiable with one or two to check further. One I have sorted though is this new for me tenanted mine of Ectoedemia atricollis on hawthorn ....

Egg on underside, gallery running around leaf edge leading to blotch, larva with dark head

I lose interest in hawthorn very quickly when I do look for leaf mines, so I doubt I would have come across this one if I'd not been actively looking to create a few records for a blank square.

Whilst pulling low branches of lime looking for mines, without success I should add, I inadvertently knocked this off from its roost ....

Southern Hawker

This one has been a major earworm of mine over the last week - I like the odd way it just starts like you're in the middle of the song.


Gibster said...

Very good, but surely that square is a bit south east rather than south west from your home..? ;)

Skev said...

Doh. Night-blogging again.