First ever pan-species lister's field meeting: Day 2, Heyshott Down

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 28 May 2012 22:22

Day two. A few less people but also one extra in the form of Steve Gale who I finally got to meet. There is a bit of a walk to get to Heyshott and when you are there the terrain is pretty hard going. We had been on site a matter of minutes when we started recording Grizzled and Dingy Skippers, smart green Cryptocephalus aureolus, Bracken Chafers and then Duke of Burgundy! The coolest thing about this particular Duke was that not only was it Mark Skevington's first, it also landed on his net! Then I looked down at my net to see a really cool Cryptocephalus which was a tick for me. Cryptocephalus moraei.
Clive Washington got his suction sampler out and I was amazed at how well it worked in short turf. We saw all sorts but the Devil's-bit Scabious Jewel Beetle Tachys troglodytes was perhaps the coolest. Another tick for me was the nationally scarce crab spider Ozyptila nigrita. There are very few records for this little crab spider in Sussex. I was hoping it was gonna be a county first. Never mind!

Bruce Middleton showed everyone the bryophytes the site is well known for. People were pleased to see Rhodobryum roseum and all sorts of scarce liverworts. Having covered these with Bruce on a previous podcast, I concentrated on the invertebrates. That said, it was cool to see a green Fly Orchid!
On the way back, a cool thing happened. I asked if there was anything that feeds on Wild Garlic. Someone said there was a hoverfly that nectars on the flowers. I swept the flowers, we caught the hoverfly. Everyone in the group saw the fly and here is little garlic breath himself: Portevinia maculata. I am really pleased with how things went. I added 25 species to my list. Hopefully the next meeting will be held in a different county and rockpooling seems like a popular idea!
I have already been back in the field today setting up some invertebrate monitoring at Iping & Stedham, where I added a further three species including the odd little saproxylic deadwood hoverfly Microdon analis, the crab spider Philodromus cespitum and the cool little weevil Cionus tuberculosus (which also landed on my net). I am on 3987. Only 13 to go to the 4000 mark. Shall I attempt to make 4000 something good or just let it happen and leave it to chance? I predict I will be there by the weekend...

1 Response to "First ever pan-species lister's field meeting: Day 2, Heyshott Down"

Jonathan Newman Says:

A great couple of days with like minded folks. Thanks Graeme for your sterling efforts :)

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