Monday, 8 October 2012

Autumn Field Meeting

Two days into the meeing and we are making good progress. It has been hard work though, especially as ever woodland seems to be full of brambles! Last year I described a woodland as a 'bramble patch with a few  trees sticking out of it'. This year the level of bramble infestation is lower but it is still very difficult to avoid shredding one's net!

Impressions so far:
  • Fungus gnats numbers are low. Samples are rather homogeneous  and  we have recorded a smaller number of species than at the same time last year.
  • Craneflies are in reasonable supply but there are relatively few Tipula species. So far, Limonia nubeculosa has been comparatively scarce.
  • There are very few Lauxaniidae - in fact virtually none!
  • Drosophilidae are very scarce. 
  • Heleomyzidae are in low numbers.
  • Hoverflies are scarce but about par for this time of year.
Our group is small but select: Alan Stubbs, Peter Chandler, Andrew Halstead, Malcolm Smart and  John Bratton plus of course yours-truly.

I had a narrow escape today whilst in pursuit of hovers on a patch of rank vegetation, falling  down a manhole whose cover had been removed. I was exceptionally lucky that I escaped with nothing worse than sitting on a few stinging nettles which duly exacted their revenge on me!

We are based in Menai Bridge for this part of the week. It is a place I knew only poorly when based in Bangor  30+ years ago.  Now, it seems positively excellent compared to Bangor; which seems to have few redeeming features. Why on earth did I live there for 3 years?

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