Friday, 29 May 2015

Kentle Wood: the survey continues

After enduring four or five distinctly chilly and wet days the weather relented and allowed me the chance to get out to Kentle Wood.

Clytus arietis at Kentle Wood.
21 May, 2015

I wasn't expecting rarities but a number of interesting species were soon found, such as this Wasp Beetle, Clytus arietis. The specimen photographed was one of three noted as I strolled along the rides.

One of the Cardinal beetles. This is Pyrochroa
serraticornis. Kentle Wood.  21 May, 2015

The same was true of Cardinal Beetles, Pyrochroa serraticornis. Three were noted on a ten foot length of hawthorn hedgerow. Is this going to be an exceptionally good year for them or was I just lucky?  In fact this is a common beetle and I ought not to have been surprised.

My net holds the larva of Dark Marbled Carpet.
Kentle Wood, Daventry.  21 May, 2015
These two boldly marked insects were very easy to spot but this well-camouflaged caterpillar wasn't seen by me until I examined the contents of my net after sweeping willow. It is one of the carpet moths and I am fairly confident that it is Dark Marbled Carpet, Dysstroma citrata. I am no expert on moths but the colours and patterning are right, the food-plant is correct and this specimen has blunt anal points. Also it is a widespread and common species.

Vicia sativa: common but lovely.
Kentle Wood, Daventry. 21 May, 2015

On the subject of common species, many more plants were in flower but nothing unexpected was found. Were Common Vetch, Vicia sativa, a rarity people would flock to see its lovely flowers. As it is we take it for granted but it merits a closer look. It is abundant at Kentle Wood - as it is almost everywhere.  The specific name 'sativa' means cultivated, and this plant was once grown as a fodder crop.

Geranium columbinium at Kentle Wood.
21 May, 2015

Long-stalked Crane's-bill, Geranium columbinum, is a common plant of roadsides and similar places. There are many lovely plants in the Geranium genus, but this, to be honest, is not one of them. Just a handful of specimens were noted.

The survey is going well. The day's work pushed the number of flowering plants recorded up to 24. In a newly planted woodland the total was never going to be huge but the next few months should double that total. As for invertebrates, that figure now stands at 142 species, including 25 spiders, 15 true bugs, 34 beetles and 47 two-winged flies. And it is only May.

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