The top ten highlights of 2013

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 27 December 2013 09:56

Although it wasn't my most prolific blogging year, 2013 was an amazing year for natural history. Here are the top ten in reverse order.

10). Pearl-bordered Fritillary dead on a sundew at Graffham Common. When Rachael said 'I've never seen anyone get so excited over a dead butterfly' was the moment she realised her new boyfriend was an obsessed maniac.

9). Six new birds in 2013 which were: Western Bonnelli's Warbler, American Golden Plover, Hermit Thrush, Radde's Warbler, Semipalmated Sandpiper and (see below). The twitching trip to Cornwall in search of the Hermit Thrush with Mark, Neil and Seth was a blast. Despite seeing the Hermit Thrush, I thought the smartest thing that day was this Blue-rayed Limpet. It just goes to show that twitching with a bunch of pan-species listers can go in all sorts of directions.

8).  An autumn at Rye Harbour NVCing the whole nature reserve. I found a Pectoral Sandpiper but this female Red-veined Darter was a highlight for me.

7). Teesdale. Lots of scarce new plants including this Alpine Bartsia.

6). It was a fantastic autumn for fungi, this Starfish or Anemone Fungus is still giving me nightmares. And boy do I LOVE nightmares!

5). A summer of fish surveys with Sussex IFCA. I saw so many new species, I couldn't decide between Little Cuttlefish or Thornback Ray as my favourite.


4). Micrommata virescens and Carabus arvensis, just two of the 584 species Chris Bentley and I recorded at the Old Lodge invertebrate survey.


3). 67 Heath Tiger Beetles at Iping Common using purpose made scrapes put in with a turf stripper. Great to see this reintroduced species not only present on site but thriving. The 1st August was a great day and so glad I was able to share it with Shaun Pryor.

2). Lumpsucker and Montagu's Sea-snail at St Mary's Island. Sublime.


1). The 'elusive' Corncrake at Beachy Head. Say no more.

So is that it for 2013? I was hoping for an Ivory Gull on the way back south tomorrow but they all seem to have gone now. I think I might have a day at the microscope on the 31st...

4 Response to "The top ten highlights of 2013"

peapod Says:

Beautiful photographs. I 'woah-ed' through this whole post :)

Graeme Lyons Says:

Thanks for the comment! There is a lot of quite unusual wildlife in this country, all you have to do is look for it!

ramtopsrac Says:

Husband and I know what you mean about the whole obsession thing - our teenage son despairs the pair of us!

Fantastic photo's and only one of these we've seen (the blue rayed limpit) but the hubby got very excited about the baby cuttlefish, as a biology teacher who takes sixth-formers to the Isle of Wight to enthuse them for three days each year (all Gove will give him), he finds cuttlefish the most amazing things.

And a full body shot of a Corncrake, that's just bragging rights that is!

All the best for 2014!

Graeme Lyons Says:

Thanks for the comments!

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