So after some time away, I’m back at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire. It started with a bang with this Diurnea lipsiella pulled from one of the traps on Saturday morning. A new species for the site, and up until the end of 2012, there has been only 22 Yorkshire records since 1859, and only three VC61 records since 1904!!! However, despite the late flight period of the species, I suspect there will be a few more records in 2013 due to the recent good trapping conditions.
The migrant Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon finally made the 2013 year list, Emmelina monodactyla Common Plume was trapped for the first time since 1996, while more regular late-season fare included several Feathered Thorn Colotois pennaria.
Whilst I’ve been absent, Doug Fairweather has continued the trapping work. The first weekend of October saw us surpass 369 species, which meant that in 9 months and a week, we trapped more species than were recorded on the site in the period 1992-2006! The 2013 total will be further increased by Andy Nunn, who spent Saturday photographing leaf mines, which I know will add a number of new species to the site Lepidoptera list.
Traditionally, the end of October heralds the start of a winter of gull roost vigils. A minimum of 4 Mediterranean Gulls Ichthyaetus melanocephalus roosted between Friday and Sunday evening, including 3 1st winters on the latter night, whilst Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus graellsii numbers were double figures on each evening. As ever, the latest official Tophill news can be found by clicking the link.
A tour of the site on Saturday turned up a diverse array of fungi. Pholiota squarrosa Shaggy Pholiota the most pleasing on the eye, while Abortiporus biennis Blushing Rosette is species we record occasionally.
As October draws to a close, Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum are still on the wing, but the Odonata season is coming to an end. Check out the Yorkshire BDS sightings page for the final records in November.