Monday, 24 February 2014

Gap in the rain

I decided that enough was enough and went out to look for some Celandine. The most likely local location is near a sheltered stream, and sure enough, the first buds were just visible:

Lesser Celandine bud
The ditch is also home to a wide range of liverworts, mosses and ferns, but they will keep for a few weeks.

I did, however, spot this Scarlet Elf Cup - Sarcoscypha austriaca - just beside some Celandines:

Sarcoscypha austriaca - Scarlet Elf Cup
It seemed strangely out of season, but the Fungal Records Database shows that spring sightings are quite common..

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage is also ready to flower:

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage
Just a reminder that my new database is up and running, with around 20% of my species illustrated. You can find it at

Late news.

On 2nd July 2010, I showed a photograph of what I thought was a sawfly larva. Turns out it's the caterpillar of the wonderfully-named micromoth Schreckensteinia festaliella. Thanks to Linsepatron of Denmark for that.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

A touch of sun

We're having a dry sunny day, so I popped out to see what I could see.

First Willow I checked was covered in new catkins:

Willow catkins
As soon as they open fully, hoverflies and bees will magically appear for the pollen and nectar.

I also spotted this absolutely minute orb spider working on a tiny web. It must know something that we don't:

Orb spider on web

I have been working very intensely on the new wildlife database, and have some 300 species loaded so far.

If you want an early look, you can find it here:

Warning: there are many broken links, dead-ends and incomplete pages, but I think it's time to get feedback from a wider audience. The taxonomic tree is available for all species, but very few common names have been linked so far. A major feature is the ability to follow links between associated species. There are around 600 such links in place at the moment. This is a major breakthrough, showing the complexity and interlinked nature of our wildlife.

Feedback can be added here or in the guestbook on the new site. Have a look and let me know what you think.