Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Square kilometre challenge 1

Inspired by others, I'm going to participate in a project this year that attempts to find and identify as many species (of every type) in a single square kilometre. The Ordnance Survey maps are subdivided into kilometre squares, and for convenience I'm choosing the one in which I live - or at least, where I'll be spending a lot of time. A blog on this topic can be found here: http://1000for1ksq.blogspot.co.uk/

Here's a sketch map of the area, based on OS data. Red lines are major roads, blue rivers, black railway; orange areas urban and suburban development, green woods, and white open areas, including fields and rough ground. It's a good mix, between two small towns, with open country to the northwest and south, with extensive fields, forests, and high hills all within a few kilometres. The rivers are quite narrow and fast flowing - in the middle of their course. A lot of the open ground is accessible, with meadow and rough pasture, and a range of elevations from 175m+ in the far south, down to 120m in the north. The black spot is the house/garden where I'll be based, so it will account for a disproportionate number of species.

January 1st-14th: 48 species
Animals: 35
Vertebrates: 34
Birds: 30
Accipiter nisus sparrowhawk
Aegithalos caudatus long-tailed tit
Anser brachyrhynchus pink-footed goose (overhead)
Carduelis cabaret lesser redpoll
Carduelis carduelis goldfinch
Carduelis chloris greenfinch
Carduelis spinus siskin
Chroicocephalus ridibundus black-headed gull
Columba palumbus woodpigeon
Corvus corone carrion crow
Corvus frugilegus rook
Corvus monedula jackdaw
Cyanistes caeruleus bluetit
Dendrocopos major great spotted woodpecker
Emberiza citrinella yellowhammer
Erithacus rubecula robin
Fringilla coeleb chaffinch
Garrulus glandarius jay (heard)
Larus argentatus herring gull
Motacilla alba pied wagtail
Parus major great tit
Passer domesticus house sparrow
Periparus ater coal tit
Pica pica magpie
Prunella modularis dunnock
Sternus vulgaris starling
Streptopelia decaocto collared dove
Strix aluco tawny owl (heard)
Troglodytes troglodytes wren
Turdus merula blackbird

Mammals: 4
Canis lupus dog
Felix cattus domestic cat
Homo sapiens human
Sciurus carolinensis grey squirrel

Invertebrates: 1
Arthropods: 1
Sminthurides aquaticus

Plants: 8
Trees: 5
Betula pendula birch
Crataegus monogyna hawthorn
Fagus sylvatica beech
Fraxinus excelsior ash
Sambucus niger elder

Other flowering plants: 3
Urtica dioica nettle
Rubus idaeus wild raspberry
Rubus fruticosa bramble

Lichens and fungi: 5
Auricularia auricula-judae jelly ear
Parmelia sulcata
Phellinus pini
Ramalina farinacea
Trametes versicolor turkeytail

There are more lichens, mosses, trees, and herbaceous plants to identify this month, plus I'll be looking for more fungi and invertebrates like springtails and myriapods.