The autumn of the 2014 moth season at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire has proved to be a productive period. This Black Rustic Aporophyla nigra trapped on October 17th by Doug Fairweather becoming the 570th species to be recorded at the site since 1992.
More regular fare for latter part of the year has included December Moth Poecilocampa populi and November Moth agg. Epirrita dilutata agg. along with a few Feathered Thorn Colotois pennaria and the autumn Quakers Agrochola species.
Fortunately, leaf mine expert Andy Nunn visited in late October and found a good number of species. A total of 15 new species were added to the site list including this Stigmella tityrella on Beech Fagus sylvatica.
These records have pushed the Tophill Low species list to 585 species, with 429 being recorded during 2014 – almost 30 more than last year.
More obvious to the eye than Stigmella tityrella, the reservoirs are holding an increasing number of wildfowl. A female Scaup Aythya marila was present on October 26th, with a minimum of five birds noted over the weekend of November 8th/9th, which also saw good numbers of both Pochard A. ferina and Tufted Duck A. fuligula present. A Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus graced D reservoir on November 1st – some excellent pictures can be seen by checking out the Tophill Low NR blog.
The end of British Summer Time means one thing – the start of winter Gull roosting season. The campaign kicked off with a 2nd year Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans on October 25th, which stayed for a short time before heading south. A minimum of eight different Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus have been noted, four on November 2nd being the highest total to date.
The wind had an easterly orientation on November 8th, which predictably encouraged Herring Gull L. argentatus argenteus to move. Small groups dropped onto the reservoir throughout the afternoon with over 500 noted, along with a smaller number of Great Black-backs L. marinus. However, despite the poor weather, the roost held 9,500-10,000 Common Gull L. canus and Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus – typical for November.
The photos above and below illustrating the dreadful weather conditions.
On the Odonata front, both Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum remain on the wing during November, and a late Southern Hawker A. cyanea was seen on the 1st.
A nice diversity of fungi has been recorded over recent weeks. This selection below featuring Shaggy Inkcap Coprinus comatus, Stubble Rosegill Volvariella gloiocephala and Wood Mushroom Agaricus silvicola.
This wonderful display of Shaggy Pholiota Pholiota squarrosa was one of the best seen this autumn at Tophill, while Lilac Bonnet Mycena pura, Green Elf Cup Chlorociboria aeruginascens, Glistening Inkcap Coprinellus truncorum, Conifer Blueing Bracket Postia caesia and Common Rustgill Gymnopilus penetrans were also noted.