Poor old Gilbert is getting restless. Despite the fact that there is more interest in wildlife than ever before, it seems that most of the so-called conservation organisations are losing interest in species. Instead they prefer to babble on about landscape scale conservation and ecosystem services (whatever they are). Could this be because most of their staff don't have any knowledge about species if they don't have four legs?
This is my attempt to encourage an interest in good old-fashioned natural history.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Malham wrap-up

On the Saturday we spent a couple of hours at Goredale Beck, ostensibly to look for a rare stonefly under stones around calcareous seepages. None were found, probably due to the continued foul weather. The highlight for me was finding the tiny soldierfly Oxycera pygmaea under a stone. This species is associated with calcareous springs so the habitat was right but under a stone is the last place I would look for a soldierfly. Presumably it thought about the same of the weather as I did.

Oxycera pygmaea (Photo: www.diptera.info )
There were few plants flowering which was rather disappointing, perhaps the hot weather earlier in the summer had pushed things through quickly. I did manage to pick up a few new species:

Knotted Pearlwort Sagina nodosa
Bloody Crane's-bill Geranium sanguineum
Green Spleenwort Asplenium viride
Not new for me but I haven't seen it for many years and had to look up what it was as I had no idea initially:
Grass-of-Parnassus Parnassia palustris
The flower in the background of the photo above was a particular highlight though. I had written off any chances of seeing Bird's-eye Primrose as the books say it flowers in May and June and the fact that most flowers seemed to have gone over didn't increase my expectations but there were loads of them. No idea why this species should buck the trend, maybe the books are wrong, not that I'm complaining on this occasion.

Bird's-eye Primrose Primula farinosa
The roadside verges in the area had frequent clumps of Giant Bellflower.

Giant Bellflower Campanula latifolia
Finally, a mystery object. Anyone got any ideas what this is?