Friday, 23 May 2014

Bioblitz 2014!

Saturday is the Bioblitz 2014. I love those days, and consider them to be amongst the best days of the year. Getting to meet new recorders, learning new identification tricks, finding new species, making new friends, meeting old ones, sharing knowledge, encouraging new learners. 200 mile round trip? No problem. Hope the weather holds up.

One of my favourite (and most visited locations for wildlife) is the hedgerow on Craigs Road. I know every inch of it, and know where to go to see hoverflies, bees, wasps, butterflies, etc. This is how it looks at this time of year:

Hedgerow looking East.

But this is how it looks after the council has shredded every bit of it down to the ground:

Mown verges
Keep in mind that this is at least a mile out of town. Can anyone tell me why this was done?

Tidiness? Obsessive/compulsive disorder? Job creation?

It is illegal in Ireland to cut any vegetation that is not currently under cultivation between March and September. But the council continues to decimate our wildlife habitats. This is illegal and irresponsible. Ironically, our local heritage (biodiversity) officer writes to remind people of the legislation, but his employers, the council, continue to do this every year, and at the worst possible time of year. Now I'm going to have to find somewhere else to photograph for the rest of this season.

The day before the cutting, I photographed this Cixiid:

Tachycixius pilosus

Tachycixius pilosus

It is identified by the three slightly diagonal dark marks at the edge of the wing, and is about 5mm long.

New to my species list. (and now homeless)

One area that escaped the cutting was the central verge, and tonight we spotted this tiny crucifer:


It keys out to Wintercress - Barbarea vulgaris. Buds are hairless, lower leaves end in a large lobe.

New to my species list.


amanda peters said...

Will be doing the Garden Bioblitz next weekend, sad the council have cut back the grass,they are vital for insects and other animals.

Gill said...

What a mess! All those insects, spiders, small mammals etc. and their predators - gone :-(

I'm amazed you haven't had the Barbarea.wintercress before - it's everywhere here as a farmland/track-side weed

Tim McIlveen said...

They did the same thing on a road where I live. I had found a stand of early purple orchids that I had never seen there before. I came across them by chance while looking at some primroses. When i returned a couple of weeks later to photograph them and get a grid reference, the verge had been strimmed back and they were gone. This was verging on the criminal in my mind.....

stuart dunlop said...

Good to see you here, Tim. I have just ordered the 3-volume set of Roberts, so you may expect a few more contacts from me as I try to confirm identifications, if that's all right.

The wildlife is just beginning to return to that verge. Mostly Bombus and a few leaf miners, but nothing like my usual number of hovers, beetles, etc.