Monday, 3 June 2013

Fawsley Park

Yesterday I spent a very interesting day at Fawsley Park. The occasion was a "bioblitz", an event organised by the Northants Wildlife Trust with the aim of "blitzing" the area by bringing in enthusiasts to record as much of the flora and fauna as possible. A number of friends were there - John Showers, Kevin Rowley and so on - but as we scattered far and wide over the estate I saw little of the others. I set out with the intention of concentrating on spiders, but despite excellent weather conditions and employing a number of techniques, I didn't have a great haul. Insects were a different matter and I obtained a good 'bag' of diptera.

Currant gall Neuroterus quercusbaccarum on
oak catkins. Fawsley Park 2 June, 2013

There are some fine trees on the estate with many oaks, and I was surprised by the number of currant galls on the oak catkins. These are the work of a Cynipid wasp, Neuroterus quercusbaccarum; we may have had a hard winter but these had clearly not been adversely affected.  

As well as spiders and flies I took a number of woodlice, centipedes, millipedes and beetles. These will take a few days to identify but the work is - for me - quite fascinating and if everyone else at the meeting has recorded a similar number of species it will have been a very fruitful exercise.

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