Shotesham Bioblitz! 30 March 2024

What started out a a field trip organised by Rob Yaxley to survey the churchyards of Shotesham for lichens quicky morphed into a bit of a bioblitz! 

After a few minutes concentrating on lichens on the church wall at All Saints I quickly realised that I have an enormous amount to learn about them and the lure of insects proved too much!

Shotesham has (or rather had) 4 churches. Only 2 are now in use, All Saints and St Mary's. St Martin's is a picturesque ruin next to St Mary's while the 4th, St Botolph's is a pile of rubble after it's demise in the Reformation. 

The majority of the day was spent at All Saints where invert finds included the small ladybird Scymnus interruptus, Cricket-bat Orbweb Spider, the ghostly white Ant Woodlouse, Bristly Millipede, Small Nettle Weevil, Pied Shieldbug, my first Holly Blue of the year, Green Parasitic Fly and Red-bellied Housefly. Andrena mining bees were much in evidence around a flowering shrub late in the morning when the sun came out. Star of the show was Ashy Mining Bee but I was personally very pleased with my first Common Mini-miner. We also recorded Buffish Mining Bee, Grey-patched Mining Bee and Tawny Mining Bee. The eagle-eyed Vanna found a microscopically small pseudoscorpion under a tile of the ground that has subsequently keyed-out to the scarce Dimple-clawed Chthonid.

Others were looking at micro fungi and I personally noted Arum Rust, Hollyhock Rust, Celandine Clustercup Rust, Firerug  Inkcap and Xylaria filiformis

The lichens I paid attention to were Lechanora sulphurea, Tephromela atra, Candelariella vitellina, Verucaria nigrescens and Dirina massiliensis that had the rare fungi Spiloma auratum growing on it. 

                                                                                                                              Scymnus interruptus
                                                                                                                              Cricket Bat Orbweaver

                                                                                                                                  Ashy Mining Bee
                                                                                                                                 Small Nettle Weevil
                                                                                                                                     Pied Shieldbug
                                                                                                                                 Ant Woodlouse
                                                                                                                                  Green Parasitic Fly
                                                                                                                        Common Mini-miner
                                                                                                                              Lecanora sulphurea
                                                                                                                                  Hollyhock Rust
                                                                                                                                Arum Rust
                                                                                                                     Celandine Clustercup Rust

After lunch we relocated a mile down the road to St Mary's where I was very pleased to find Shield Pinkgill (confirmed with microscopy by Jeremy), a new fungi for me. 10-spot Ladybird and 24-spot Ladybird followed and I managed to photograph Tawny Mining Bee at last. The main interest here was on the verge just outside the church were the Lesser Celandines and Primroses held Chocolate Mining Bee, Yellow-legged Mining Bee and best of all personally (as it was one I've been looking for) - Gwynne's Mining Bee. Two snails on gravestones proved to be Hairy Snail and Two-toothed Door Snail

Birds seen during the day included Grey Wagtail, Blackcap and Red Kite.

                                                                                                                                  10-spot Ladybird
                                                                                                                                    Tawny Mining Bee
                                                                                                                               Gwynne's Mining Bee
                                                                                                                       Yellow-legged Mining Bee
                                                                                                                            Two-toothed Door Snail
                                                                                                                                      24-spot Ladybird
                                                                                                                                     Hairy Snail
                                                                                                                                Shield Pinkgill


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