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.