Monday, 29 January 2018


The rain of the morning faded away to give an afternoon of bright sunshine so I seized the chance to visit Mat Moser's land, specifically the area around the radio mast on Newnham Hill. It is part of the air traffic control system for the U.K. and. with the summit of the hill at 201 metres it is well positioned.
Air Traffic Control beacon, Newnham Hill. 29 January, 2018
In fact, after a quick look around I decided that the habitats on offer were not of great interest (the woodland shown in the photograph was fenced off and not part of Matt's land). I decided instead to investigate some grassy tussocks near to the windmill. While I prepared my surveying kit the local sheep came over to survey me.  After several visits are they now getting to recognise me?
Hi Tony! What are you up to? Sheep on Newnham Hill.
29 January, 2018
I explained what I was planning to do and they turned away in disgust, at least one depositing a steaming little parcel near to my feet. 'Spiders? Baa! Humbug!' Despite feeling a little hurt by their attitude I persevered and was soon dismembering likely-looking sods. 
Spiders? Wow, how exciting - not!
I wasn't anticipating great invertebrate riches but was moderately pleased by my haul. In July I'd have been disappointed but the total is at least growing with today's findings raising the number of species to 36 with the addition of two more beetles, a ground bug and a couple of spiders.

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