June (83 new species)
Sat 4th Cephus spinipes (sawfly) at home
Sun 5th Liophloeus tessulatus (weevil) at home
Tue 7th Aedes caspius (mosquito) swept in the alder wood at The Nunnery
Fri 10th Herniaria glabra (Smooth Rupturewort) finally ticked off on a verge in Thetford.
Sat 11th My first new bird of the year, Acrocephalus arundinaceus (Great Reed Warbler) was twitched at Little Paxton gravel pits. Later that day, a good selection of new species at Barnack Hills & Holes with Ryan Clark: Aceras anthropophorum (Man Orchid), Cerastium pumilum (Dwarf Mouse-ear), Cryptocephalus fulvus (leaf beetle), Euheptaulacus villosus (dung beetle), Lasius alienus (ant), Urophora jaceana (picture-winged fly) and Microbotryum violaceum (campion smut).
Sun 12th A short bramble lesson from Alex Prendergast at Burrfeld Park in Tasburgh provided Rubus armeniacus, Rubus ulmifolius and Rubus vestitus, along with welcome find of Volucella inflata (hoverfly). Walked from there to Ashwellthorpe Wood where Byturus ochraceus (beetle) was the only addition.
Mon 13th After work trip to Winks Meadow to finally sort out Dactylorhiza viridis (Frog Orchid) after failing to find it here last year.
Thu 16th Crossocerus pusillus (solitary wasp) flew into the house
Fri 17th Drove up to Holkham after work for pan-species listers’ get-together weekend. At dusk, walk down Lady Anne’s Drive produced Opomyza germinationis (fly), Aphodius sticticus (dung beetle in horse dung), Clubiona corticalis, Harpactea hombergi and Tetragnatha obtusa (spiders).
Sat 18th Tried and failed for Hornet Clearwing first thing, but after breakfast, driven up to Meals House to start our walk, where we quickly added Scrophularia vernalis (Yellow Figwort), Anchusa officinalis (Alkanet) and Narycia monilifera (psychid moth). We then cut through the pines, finding Malthinus flaveolus (soldier-beetle), Othius punctulatus (rove beetle) and Monotropa hypopitys (Yellow Bird’s-nest) on the way before coming out to the dunes. Under some driftwood on the beach we found Armadillidium album, Broscus cephalotes and Calathus mollis (ground beetles), as well as a Natterjack Toad.
Sweeping the dunes was productive, as we found two of our key targets, the marram-inhabiting Dactylochelifer latreillei (pseudoscorpion) and the highly localised Clanoptilus barnevillei (beetle), alongside Neophilaenus campestris (froghopper), Sinodendron cylindricum (Rhinoceros Beetle), Lasius psammophilus (ant), Xerolycosa miniata (spider) and Urophora stylata (picture-winged fly). We then made our way west alongside the dune/plantation edge, where a highlight was the impressive Ontholestes murinus (rove beetle) under a dead Mallard, as well as Cydia conicolana (tortrix moth), Hemerobius stigma (lacewing) and Thereva bipunctata (stiletto fly). At the far end of the pines we found a spindle infested with larval webs of Yponomeuta cagnagella (micro moth). We then headed back east on the landward side of the pines and further added Microcara testacea and Ochina ptinoides (beetles), Rhagoletis alternata (picture-winged fly) and Symplecta stictica (cranefly).
Back at Hill Farm (where we camping), Nicola Bacciu found us the fantastic Polyxenus lagurus (Bristly Millipede) on the lichen-covered wall of a barn. After dark, some of us then headed right back out to the west end of the pines to join in with a separate Norfolk Moth Survey meeting. This was actually disappointing with very few moth species in evidence. However, new species encountered at light were Caryocolum marmoreum (gelechid moth), Rhamphomyia barbata (empid fly), Tipula fascipennis (cranefly) and Ophion crassicornis (ichneumon wasp).
Sun 19th Another failed attempt at dawn for Hornet Clearwings! After breakfast we were generously driven by Andy Bloomfield out to Burnham Overy Dunes, which saved us a fair hike! We had an extremely productive morning out here. We first spent time on the saltmarsh, which netted me a hatful of new species: Pseudaplemonus limonii (striking colourful weevil), Uromyces limonii (rust on sea lavender), Myosotella myosotis (Mouse-eared Snail), Orchestia gammarellus (amphipod underneath strandline litter), Dicheirotrichus gustavii (carabid beetle), Enoplognatha mordax, Episinus angulatus (spiders), Cassida vittata (Bordered Tortoise Beetle), Tasgius ater (rove beetle), Dolichosoma lineare (beetle), Anoplius infuscatus and Pompilus cinereus (spider-hunting wasps).
We then moved onto the dunes in the vain hope (Bill Urwin’s hope really) of finding Dune Tiger Beetle. We didn’t, but in the flowery flat areas between the dunes we came across Agrotis ripae (Sand Dart), Hoplia philanthus (Welsh Chafer), Gastrophysa polygoni (leaf beetle), Meligethes carinulatus (pollen beetle), Sitticus saltator (jumping spider) and Orthocerus clavicornis (a beetle with crazy antennae!) In this area it was great to meet up with Andy Brown and Steve Lane, and I then ended up walking back to Holkham Pines with them, benefitting particularly from Steve’s eagle eyes and encyclopaedic beetle knowledge. New species along this stretch were Lathyrus heterophyllus (Norfolk Everlasting Pea, naturalised on the dunes), Onthophagus similis (dung beetle under dog dirt), Tachysphex nitidus (solitary wasp), Aphodius foetidus (dung beetles under dead rabbit), Atomaria lohsei (beetle) and Nitidula bipunctata (beetle under dead Mallard). A great weekend in the company of some great naturalists.
Fri 24th I found the hippoboscid fly Crataerina hirundinis on the front wall of our house, clearly out of the House Martin nest above.
Sat 25th Took Tom to a university open day in York so as payment we popped in to see Chrysolina graminis (Tansy Beetle) by the river.
Mon 27th Found the small fly Scenopinus fenestralis in my office at The Nunnery.
Wed 29th Whilst doing my BBS square at Kenninghall I found Bembidion femoratum (ground beetle) just walking around on soil in arable field.
Thu 30th Dawn Balmer called me in to see a fly on her desk at work, which proved to be Ornithomya avicularia, my second hippoboscid fly in a week!