Category Archives: News

Notice Board stuff.

Wildlife in Beds: 2016

At the AGM each year, the BNHS recorders provide summaries of the records that have been submitted during the year.  Here is the summary for 2016 –

  • 2016 started off with lots of storms. Frosts continued until April and there were only 24 days with temps over 23degC. May was sunny, June, wet and July and August cloudy. Highest temp in October was 17degC!
  • 13 species of Bumblebee, one more than 2015. Red-tailed, Buff-tailed and Common Carder most common.
  • 12,833 records for Butterflies. Total number of adults down esp in June, July and Aug. Over-wintering species ok in spring but down rest of year. Orange Tip numbers good, Purple Emperor only seen in 2 woods, White Admiral and Dark Green Fritillary low, Silver-washed Fritillary good.
  • 36 species of woodlice native to GB, only 6 reported in Beds, 21 sites overall.  Need more records, head and tail photos needed to id them. Records for Freshwater Sprimp wanted.
  • 22 species of dragonflies and damselflies in Beds, no vagrants. First record of Willow Emerald Damselfly, Chalcollestes viridis, from Flitton Moor on 8/9/16. Are they breeding? Species to look out for this year are Norfolk Hawker, Aeshna Isoceles, Beautiful Demoiselle, Variable Damselfly, Coenagrion pulchellum, and Red-veined Darter, Sympetrum fonscolombii.
  • 3 new species of flowering plants this year, Bird’s Foot Clover, Sweet Cicely at Whipsnade and Square-stalked Willowherb, an alien which was found at the end of Luton runway. A hybrd of 2 aliens was also found on the Bedford bypass. Records needed for new Atlas being published in 2020.
  • 3500 species of fungi, 12 new ones, mostly micro-fungi.
  • 2 new species of hoverfly, over 200 in Beds. 2017 is last year to submit records for the new Hoverflies in Beds book.
  • 206 records of lacewings, 22 species, a new county record.
  • 376 recorded species of lichens, most can’t be identified in the field.
  • 11 species recorded, the 12th recorded in Beds was not looked for so not recorded! Whiskered Bat now at 4 locations, 3 more than last year.
  • Mammal group now up and running, smaller groups closed down. 30 species recorded, no marine species. Chinese Water Deer increasing, 2yr old male Red Deer at Sandy, 2 Roe Deer at Kensworth and reports of Muntjac coursing. Otters doing well. All small mammals recorded. Hedgehog numbers split 50-50, live vs dead. Lots of badger records inc dead. Hedgehogs already recorded this year.
  • 1 new macro moth, 4 new micro moth.
  • I new Mayfly, 1 new Stonefly, 168 new Flies. Look for galls and dusty patches on leaves, you never know what you’ll find.
  • Amphibians not affected by cold weather. Froga and Toads didn’t seem to hibernate, first record 2nd Jan,  Great-crested Newt 19/1, very early, Frog spawn 24/2. Reptiles were affected by the cold weather.
  • Quiet year for spiders, only 365 spider and 21 harvestmen. 22 years of pitfall trap data about to be analysed.
  • 7 new species of Weevils.

Pondnet Spawn Survey 2017

You can help the Freshwater Habitats Trust collect data on the whereabouts of frog and toad spawn across the country by taking part in their PondNet Spawn Survey 2017.

If you have a local park or garden pond with evidence of breeding frogs and toads, or you spot some spawn while out on a walk, why not record your findings and contribute to the spawn survey? The survey will be running from now until the end of May this year to collect important data on the location of breeding frogs and toads across the country.

You can use this Recording Form to record your information and then upload the information directly to the Freshwater Habitats Trust website.

Wildlife in Beds: 2015

Every year, the BNHS recorders provide summaries of the records that have been submitted during the year. This is what the records tell us about 2015 –

  • Total rainfall was lower than in 2014. March, April and June were relatively dry months, wet and windy later in year. Quite sunny early April to mid May. Otherwise 2015 was rather dull.
  • 9 new species of weevils again identified, 2 of these Anthribus nebulosus and Larinus planus have been introduced into the US for pest control with limited success.
  • Micro-moth recording started in 1986 with 84 species, there are now 950 recorded species. 7 new species found, inc one that had been presumed extinct in Britain.
  • Whiskered Bat, Myotis mystacinus, found in Rushmere area so now 12 species in Beds.
  • 92 badger road casualties.
  • Dormouse monitoring in 3 sites, nests found in nest boxes but no natural nests. Birds, bees and hornets also found nesting in dormouse boxes.
  • Water voles not doing well due to mink predation.
  • 368 species of lichens, 8 new ones found. Search your local churchyard.
  • 2 new species of hoverfly, inc 1 refound after long time. Marmalade Fly, Episyrphus balteatus, new found in each sector.
  • New atlas on British flora to be published in 2020 so records will be requested as input for that.
  • 1843 dragonfly records from 64 people. Numbers affected by the weather, not as many records as usual for the 2 most common, Common Darter, Sympetrum striolatum, and Common Blue Damselfly, Enallagma cyathigerum. Lesser Emperor, Anax parthenope, and Red-veined Darter, Sympetrum fonscolombii, recorded. Need to look out for Willow Emerald Damselfly, Lestes viridis, Variable Damselfly, Coenagrion pulchellum, Beautiful Demoiselle and Norfolk Hawker, Aeshna Isoceles.
  • 35 species of native woodlice in Britain, 45 inc introduced species, but only 5 species recorded in Beds. Records needed to found out how many we have.
  • The signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus is present but there were no records.
  • 12119 butterfly records from 253 people, 37 species recorded. Numbers affected by weather, spring species did well, summer ones did not.
  • In 1928, 22 species of bumblebees in Beds, now only 13. Increase in records last year for bumblebees so apparently not affected by the weather. Why?
  • Not good year for recording bugs, only ~120 species found instead of ~200. 3 new species recorded though, 405 species in total.

Summer events for children at RSPB, The Lodge

The RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy run a series of events during the summer holidays:

Mini-beast Safari: These are focused mainly for the younger children and take place in a small area of the reserve away from the trails.

  • Tuesday 28th July 10:30-12:00pm
  • Monday 3rd August: 2:00-3:30pm
  • Thursday 6th August 10:30-12:00pm
  • Tuesday 11th August: 10:30-12:00pm
  • Thursday 27th August: 10:30-12:00pm
  • Wednesday 2nd September: 10:30-12:00pm
Walk on the Wild Side: These are suggested for older children (8 – 12), and involve a 2 mile walk along reserve trails, including a flight of steps, discovering nature by looking for clues.
  •     Friday 14th August: 10:30 – 12.30pm
  •     Tuesday 25th August 2:00 – 4.00pm
All children must be accompanied by adults and booking is essential as numbers are restricted, phone 01767 680541.  Further details on the RSPB website.