On the sixth day of Christmas

… a review of 2020’s species list

by Ian Bushell

Going through the species listing for 2020, I have highlighted the new species photographed and identified over the past year. The Bats, Otter and Odonata are of greatest interest but it does not mean that all the other often common species are not important in telling us more about the park’s structure and health. 

Mammals:

  • Bats   Three new species of bats: Leisler’s Bat, Noctule Bat and Lesser Horseshoe Bat.  These were amongst the thirteen species recorded and identified by Richard Green, the lead Ecologist for RPS’s Ecology Survey of the Church Lane site (H2.4) in late spring of 2020.
  • Otter.   Although previously recorded in the park, the videos by both Simon and Carey Tesler of the otter swimming and feeding in Southwick Court moat must be a highlight of the year, and proof of the Lambrok being part of his territory.

Otter filmed at Southwick Court By Simon Tesler

Invertebrates:

  • Lepidoptera.   From the moth trapping in July, Hugo Brooke identified ten new moths to the park:  Poplar Hawkmoth, Dark-streaked Button, Straw Grass-veneer, Oak Hooktip, Small Fan-footed Wave, Treble Brown Spot, Clouded Border, Black Arches, Uncertain and Northern Grey.
  • In May, Julie Newblé found and photographed an extensive nest of caterpillars identified as rare Small Eggar moths, and in the same month a Brown Argus butterfly was photographed and identified.  In October a Garden Tiger moth was identified.

[1] small eggar caterpillar nest; [2] brown argus; [3] garden tiger moth caterpillar

  • BeetlesSailor Beetle, Common Pollen Beetle and 16 Spot Ladybird were all identified and photographed.
  • Bees:   Tawny Mining Bee and Large Red-tailed Bumble Bee
  • Flies: Dark-edged Bee Fly, Marmalade Hover Fly and Techinid Fly
  • True Bugs:  Red-and-Black Froghoppers, Birch Shieldbug.

[4] marmalade hover fly; [5] birch shieldbug; [6] wasp spider

  • Spiders:  Wasp Spider and Harvestman.
  • Odonata:  Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Azure Damselfly were all photographed and identified within the park and Southwick Court.

Flora:

  • Five plants new to the Species List were identified over the year;  Wild Onion, Scarlet Pimpernel, Stinking Iris, Dog’s Mercury and Betony.

[7] stinking iris seeds; [8] scarlet pimpernel; [9] dog’s mercury;

Fungi:

  • Seven fungi new to the list were photographed and identified over the year;  Shaggy Parasol, Candlesnuff, Shaggy Bracket, Amethyst Deceiver, Jelly Babies, Fairy Helmet Bonnet and Common Orange Lichen.

[10] shaggy parasol; [11] amethyst deceiver; [12] jelly babies

We are indebted to all those keen eyed park users who have noted, photographed and told us about their finds, particularly Julie Newblé and Simon Knight, and of course, the relevant Wiltshire Wildlife Recorders for their knowledge.

Header picture: Brown hawker female by Pavel Kirillov (CC BY-SA 2.0) wikimedia .org

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: