Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Rug pulled from under one's feet

I reached for the storage box marked 'entomological stuff' and there under the pith helmet, khaki shorts and pipe complete with half ounce of rough shag was my trusty sweep net. With a grin of reassuring satisfaction I assembled the net to handle and shook out the dried vegetational remains of last year's successful campaign. Placing the net comfortably on the back seat I made my way to Magor Marsh for some serious, sustained sweep netting. And I wasn't disappointed, as if awakened from a deep sleep refreshed for action the net swung into action to the left to the right cutting through the vegetation in the single minded pursuit of bagging an assortment of biological data.

The day therefore was all about inverts and within a mixed bag of thingamajigs was the first broad bodied chaser dragonfly of the year some short winged conehead and this lil' beauty. This is a ground beetle named Demetrias imperialis a Nb species swept from the hay meadow part of the reserve. When confronted with something different I tend to log on to the National Biodiversity Network website to get a feel for its national distribution, and surprise surprise not a single dot to besmirch our principality. Next stop then was the local records centre (SEWBReC) just in case they had records before I started to blow the 'new record for Wales trumpet'. Disappointingly they had records from Magor Marsh (2005) and Calidcot (2007). Drat Julian Branscombe's vision in contracting Dr Peter Kirby to survey the invertebrates of Gwent Wildlife Trust's key reserves in 2005- drat! drat! drat!

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