David Gibbs Entomology and Natural History

Bio Eclectica (Blog)

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Midger Wood moss foray

Posted by David Gibbs on April 26, 2010 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (1653)

Six of us met for this informal moss hunt at the Gloucestershire WT reserve. Peter Martin, regional BBS recorder was the only expert bryologist present and I am very grateful for his help on this trip and with all the dozens of photos and specimens I have sent to him for identification and confirmation.

As always with these trips it was difficult to make much progress because there was so much to identify at each stop. One of the first unusual species was this Platygyrium repens on a marker post.

On a nearby tree hiding amongst the Orthotrichum pulchellum was this Orthotrichum pulchellum.

The photo above also shows the liverworts Metzgeria furcata and what is probably Microlejeunea ulicina (see below). On the same tree were these two lichens, the Cladonia yet to be named.

Parmotrema perlatum (above)

Cadonia sp. (let me know if you can name it)

Further up the path came across the two common woodland species of Isothecium.

Isothecium myosuroides

Growing close to the stream we found the feather moss Cratoneuron filicinum which was more distinct to the touch, being rather rigid, than to look at.

Abundant in the wood was Thamnobryum alopecurum, but it is unusual to see it with capsules, especially so profusely, as in this example below.

On logs and tree trunks over the stream we found several species of liverwort.

Lejeunea cavifolia (above)

Microlejeunea ulicina

Nowellia curvifolia

The fallen tree with the colony of Nowellia also had this very distinctive Lichen yet to be named.


Something I have never noticed before is what appears to be a lichen smothering a moss (Hypnum cupressiforme), not a clue what the lichen might be.

And finally, this lichen on the bark of a tree is Graphis scripta (det Neil Sanderson).

If anyone can confirm or correct any of the identifications above please contact me.

Sand Point birding (mostly)

Posted by David Gibbs on April 23, 2010 at 10:59 AM Comments comments (1)

With the wind turning south it seemed worth getting out early to see what migrants were coming through. Arrived at Sand Point soon after 8am and almost immediately could hear a Grasshopper Warbler reeling close by. Only took a few minutes to locate it "chacking" away in a bramble bush, and giving good views! While watching it I could hear another reeling a little further off in the scrub behind Sand Bay. Again this bird proved remarkably obliging, hopping on top of a bush as I approached. And a little later a third Grasshopper Warbler hopped up in front of me, but this one immediately took cover, giving only fleeting views. Further on my first House Martin of the year flew overhead going north. Almost immediately a female Redstart hopped up giving brief views while out on the saltmarsh was a superb male Whinchat which unfortunately kept itself hidden behind grasses.

Headed up to the Point where I could hear a Lesser Whitethroat but the good start suggested there should be something better than that. Indeed there was, on reaching the top two Ring Ouzels flew past and settled on the cliff edge on the north side of the point. They were very flightly but eventually got this record shot.

Eventually they flew off towards Middle Hope where I followed. Walked all the way to St Thomas's Head and back but nothing very special, 13+ Whimbrel, one more Lesser Whitethroat, good numbers of SwallowsBlackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Wheatear, including this smart male.

After watching a Fox headed back to the carpark where I relocated the Redstart close to Woodspring house but rather distant views.

Found some nice lichens that await confirmation. 

This one is Bagliettoa calciseda I think, in the field looks just like a dimpled rock surface and it was only under the microscope that it became clear that it was indeed a Lichen. 

Will add the others when/if properly identified.

Lamplighters Marsh

Posted by David Gibbs on April 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM Comments comments (0)

These blogs are likely to be rather random reports of any interesting days out as more important commitments allow.

18 April 2010 was the first meeting of the Avon Lower Plants Group, an entirely informal group interested in Bryophytes and Lichens. Six of us met on a warm, sunny morning to explore this brown field site.

I am very new to these organisms, inspired to take an interest by the recent publication of the new BBS field guide.

Soon came across a new one for me Brachythecium albicans.

A little later we came across large amounts of the superficially very similar Homalothecium lutescens.

Both these are pleurocarp mosses, an example of an arocarp is Orthotrichum anomalum, this one on an old piece of concrete.

Lichens were numerous, with up to half a dozen species noted on a single small stone. One of the most interesting was Peltigera rufescens which proved abundant.

Of insects best find was Sehirus bicolor, a very attractive bug.

Also Whitethroat, that would not let me photograph it, and this more obliging Lesser Whitethroat.