Wednesday 3 June 2020

All the things!

The weekend of 30th and 31st May saw the Orkney Field Club organise a Virtual Garden Bioblitz where, instead of everyone meeting up at a particular site to identify all manner of wildlife, we all stayed in our own gardens and homes and shared images online. Well over a hundred folk took part and local experts helped to ID all manner of plants and animals. Freed from the confines of only a small group of people being able to huddle around a tiny insect or flower, everyone could share and see what was being talked about, and the written explanations were there to refer to when the same thing cropped up in our own gardens.

To get into the spirit of the event, I was practising with my camera several days in advance. Here's a vine weevil, possibly Otiorhyncus sulcatus, which I discovered wandering across a paving slab.

And the Tree Wasp was still about and continuing to be rather photogenic.

This hoverfly is possibly from the Genus Platycheirus, but I don't know the species. 

On the actual weekend (the event ran from noon Saturday to noon Sunday, to allow moth trappers to participate), Our Lass and I scurried around home and garden (mainly garden, don't worry!), looking for interesting things which we might normally hurry by without a thought.

Common Garden Snails Cornu aspersum

A lichen, probably Xanthoria parietina

A male Yellow Dung Fly Scathophaga stercoraria

A female Yellow Dung Fly Scathophaga stercoraria

A queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris

Common Liverwort Marchantia polymorpha

A spider of the Genus Linyphiidae

A hoverfly Eupeodes corollae

A Toothed Weaver spider Textrix denticulata
The following day, we ventured a little further afield, bearing in mind the constraints of Phase 1 lockdown, and I found this Gypsy Cuckoo Bee, busily feeding on a Bistort flower.

Bombus bohemicus
The weather was warm and bright, but quite gusty, so photographing insects on vegetation was a bit of a challenge. And, annoyingly, the breeze seemed to dissuade butterflies from venturing out. We saw only one during the 24 hour period, a large dark individual that whistled over our heads and was gone before we could figure out whether it was a Peacock or a Red Admiral.

Folk seemed to enjoy the event, and there may be enough interest to repeat it, even when we're allowed out and about again.


Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

What a good idea for an event. And what wonderful photos of the weevil. (It looks very large!)

Imperfect and Tense said...

The idea and structure for the event was 'borrowed' from an ex-colleague who recently ran a similar bioblitz in Cornwall. The small group of folk who set it up did a sterling job and deserve much praise. The weather was kind to us, thankfully, and some contributors made exceptional finds. I have yet to tot up and submit my list of species, it isn't a huge number but is across a wide variety of wildlife.

Alastair said...

Graeme the hover is Platycheirus albimanus

Imperfect and Tense said...

Alastair, many thanks!