FUNGI WALK WITH ZIGGY SENKANS, 3 OCTOBER 2017

An interesting fungi day as always, led by Sheffield City Council Biodiversity Officer Ziggy Senkans, looking at Newfield Spring Wood and surroundings. There was certainly plenty to look at and ponder over, with around 40 species identified on the day - with a few requiring further checking later. Prominent on the day were buttercaps and ochre brittlegills, lots of them in the leaf litter. Also quite common were angel's bonnet, sulphur tuft, the deceiver and yellowing curtain crust. Among the less obvious were holly speckle, earthball and candlesnuff fungus. The highlights for me were a beautiful wood blewit, amethyst deceiver, pink bonnet, wood hedgehog, grey coral, oak bug milkcap and a webcap species with a particularly bulbous stem. A big Thank You! to Ziggy for giving his time and expertise on a tricky subject for us.

Place your cursor over the fungi photos below to see a caption.

J.W.

wood blewitoakbug milkcapangel's bonnetclustered toughshankwebcap speciesgrey coral

INVERTEBRATES WALK WITH SORBY NAT. HISTORY SOCIETY, 7TH SEPT 2017

We enjoyed a productive day, recording around 100 species in hedgerows, rough meadow and woodland. Although this date was later in the year than usual for an insect walk it yielded plenty of butterflies, bees, wasps and flies thanks to some sunny spots in sheltered places. A small copper butterfly was a nice surprise, and we spotted small white, comma and speckled wood butterflies. Just a selection of sightings include: longhorn beetle, slender ground hopper, four-spotted orb weaver spider, purple woodlouse, 22-spot ladybird, green shield bug, dor beetle, garden bumblebee, freshwater shrimp, and silk button gall on oak. For me, the star had to be the female southern hawker dragonfly which Derek spotted resting in a hedge - see photo. We were also on the lookout for an ivy bee but did not see one. These attractive bees seem to be moving up from the south so they may reach our area.

As always, hearty thanks to Sorby members and Derek Whiteley in particular for leading the walk and providing expertise.

J.W.

HIMALAYAN BALSAM CONTROL UPDATE

Please see the BALSAM PULL page for news on what has been achieved in the Never Fear Dam area of the SSSI in summer 2017, and what more could perhaps be done in 2018 with the right support.

SUMMER WALK, 17 JULY 2017

Here are a few pictures from a fine evening stroll along Bridlestile near Mosborough, round to Plumbley and Ridgeway. If you place the cursor over the photo you will see a caption.

Meadow, BridlestileGin BankView south looking over Bushes Wood

RECORDING OF SPECIES, JULY 2017

Our recording team continues to regularly walk in selected areas of the valley, as in 2015/2016, to record any flora and fauna of note and their habitats eg hedgerows, wetland etc. We are now building up a picture of species, common and uncommon, and are looking out for trends. These trends may reflect what is happening nationally, for example the abundance of farmland birds has declined, so too insects, but we have discovered a few surprises and occasional 'peaks' eg butterfly surges. This summer we have seen more ringlet butterflies than usual and lots of bumblebees. Only recently we have seen quite a few linnets, yellowhammers and lapwings, three species of damselfly and a cardinal beetle. This year there seem to have been more skylarks. Today we spotted a whitethroat, swifts and swallows, and were delighted to get good views of a redstart. So it is not all bad news. We have also seen some interesting flora, eg recently harebells and red bartsia. Recording has to be thorough but is enjoyable and will continue into the autumn when we will be looking for fruiting plants and fungi.

Photos below of white ermine moth and meadow brown, both found in grass.

White ermine mothMeadow brown

BLUEBELL WALK, 29TH APRIL 2017

We enjoyed a fine stroll in the lower Moss Valley on 29th April, starting from Ford and taking in Ladybank, Ince Piece and High Bramley Woods as well as woodland fringing the Moss. Below is a selection of the views, the last one being a striking view north from High Bramley, looking at oil seed rape crops near Plumbley. We looked at various early spring flowers such as dog violet and stitchwort, but insects were a bit scarce due to the cold wind. Bumblebee queens were out scanning the ground for nest sites. A group of blackcaps, a goldcrest and a tree creeper were a treat to watch.

J.W.

P.S. LONGHORN MOTHS IN WOODED AREAS IN SPRING. Look out for these especially in sunny glades. This photo was taken in late April in Moss Valley, and I am pretty certain it is Adela reaumurella.

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