Small copper I think you’ll find. Been seeing a few, but this is the first one that sat still enough to get a shot of.
For some strange reason, when I typed that word (beetle) I had a mental image of Michael Howard saying it. Like he said ‘people’ – peepooool. Beetooool.
I’ll name it later. Probably
It seemed that Friday was a good day for a seawatch. I mean, a Fea’s Petrel flew past the evening before. How good does it need to get? What with the patch being by the sea, it seemed a good idea to then proceed to sea and watch it. Getting ready for ‘the big one’. The patch tick of patch ticks. A rare seabird. Lets go!
The first Brents of the winter, some Wigeon, some Scoters. No shearwaters, certainly not any Cory’s. Or Gannets. Some gulls. No skuas. Some terns. Hmmm. But then! Hang on one a second there is a small dark bird with a white rump flying almost on the waves!!! Bloody hell! It couldn’t be could it? Where has it gone? Find it find it! Oh, what is that what has gone and landed on that there rock. Oh, it is a Wheatear.
Aren’t you a happy little doggy!
Daddy has taken you for a walk on the beach hasn’t he! Lots to smell and dig and wee on isn’t there! Little doggy is having a great time isn’t he! No lead out here is there doggy? You can run in the dunes and splash in the sea and dig in the sand and chase the gulls and bark and bark and nobody say shutupdog! No they don’t!
What’s that doggy? You need to do a doggy-doo? Well feel free, just go wherever you want to! It doesn’t matter, you can just do what you did yesterday and just do a doggy-doo in the dunes. And the same as you did the day before yesterday, and the day before that. And then you can carry on smelling and running and wee-ing! In fact just go ahead and add another to the hundreds of little lumps of doggy-doo that Daddy has let you do on the beach in the last year. It’s ok, he is a proper Daddy and will clean up after you and dispose of your shit responsibly won’t he! Won’t he?
Of course not. Because you haven’t done it in the street little doggy, and because nobody can see you do it, he can just leave it where it pops out of your stinky doggy arse and move on! Yes he can. And so can most of the other doggy Daddies and Mummies on the beach! It’s easy! No plastic bags to worry about! No carrying stinky canine shits around with you! Just leave it on the beach or in the dunes several hundred times a year! Do the mathematics little doggy. Ten dogs a day (a conservative underestimation) 300 or so days a year and you have thousands of lumps of dog shit spread around the beach. I don’t blame you little doggy – just your stupid lazy ignorant self-centred bastard of a daddy. Thankyou so much dog owners, this end of town looks like shit, and thanks to you it regularly smells of shit. You shits.
Do you remember those cans of ‘fart gas’ that you could buy when you were a kid?
It would generally waste a large chunk of the pocket money that you had saved up for the annual summer holiday, having purchased it after falling for the illusion of actually having a real can of real flatus. The reality was that the smell was rank, but not really that similar to proper anal gaseous discharge. When I say rank, I mean rank. Proper rank. Not enough to produce instant projectile vomiting (that would be amaaaaazing), but enough to clear a ridge tent in quick time, even in the rain. Chemically mixed rankness in spray form. The smell contained in these containers was definitely not pleasant. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it was some concoction from the depths of hell, but certainly a little lister demon that may have passed this region had given a little whisper in the ear of the creator of fart gas. You don’t remember fart gas? Oh.
Compared to what I had whaft under my nostrils on Friday, cans of fart gas are about as unpleasant as fresh honeysuckle. Here is a picture of something that really does smell. Technically, this thing here “really really fucking stinks”.
As I approached it, the smell situation wasn’t in my mind but once I got close and the hoard of flies vacated the whaft whafted. Rankness of another level. Needless to say, this is a pan species patch tick and evidently it has a rude sounding scientific name – Phallus impudicus. Gurgle.
So I went out into the patch and it looked like this.
Understandably, I started getting rained on. So I retreated to the shelter of a nearby motorised vehicle and by the magic of the internal combustion engine I found myself by an area of scrubland. Actually it is desolate industrial wasteground, but scrub makes it sound all wild and authentic and everything. Bored out of my patch mind by the lack of birds to watch I even ended up taking pictures of a bird I don’t like.
I muttered, and took the Lords name in vain with reference to the rubbishness of local birds etc. I mean Wrynecks are stalking local dunes, but not mine. Greenish Warblers are being found in bushes a mere few miles away, but not here. All I have is a Wood Pigeon. And those Sparrows. And that Blue Tit. FFS. Blue Tit? But that would be a member of an entire family of birds that do not present themselves around here at all. Have I fallen into the complacency of the common place again? Yes! Patch tick! Niiiiice! Better get the bins out then and look at it properly. It’s a respect thing. But hang on, what is that flicky thing that is with the Tit and Sparrows in that rubbish bit of scrub/wasteland. Oh it seems to look like a warbler. At 8x magnification it revealed itself to be no less than a Chiffchaff. Another bleeding patch tick! Shmokin!
One rain shower for me, two photos for you dear reader, and a rambling post about two patch ticks. Splendid.
Although you might think that an insult, just imagine that it was your actual name!
Behold the Long-winged Conehead Conocephalus discolor.
That’ll be a patch tick and everything like that. And I identified it all by myself for a change. My bug book is not completely useless after all…
That patch pan listing thing hasn’t gone away by the way. There’s no rush…
The pan species list now exceeds 100 species, which is a milestone of sorts but there remains plenty still to ID still of all kinds of stuff. The other day I spent some time watching some Ichneumon suspiciosus – no really.
Bet you can’t much more of this, eh?
This one is straightforward though.
That, Dear Reader, is a Red Soldier Beetle Rhagonycha fulva. I am more certain of this identification than I am of any chafer of any kind. But how much attention did you pay to the picture? Other than the ‘yellow flowered plant that looks like many other yellow plants that I haven’t worked out how to identify yet’ did you see another patch tick? Oh, yes – they are coming so thick and fast that I cannot keep up the documentary evidence (don’t worry, it’ll give me something to do in winter). Behold…
That is the caterpillar of the Cinnabar Moth Tyria jacobaeae. A question raises it’s head. Is it legitimate to tick a caterpillar for a moth that you haven’t seen (albeit only in the patch). Isn’t that a bit like ticking a bird’s egg?
Cock, Common, Garden or Welsh? That is the question. Something to do with feet. Something to do with habitat. I really don’t know, and until a few days ago it would just have been a beetle. To assist with the definitive identification here are extreme close-up versions of every image I have of the beast, with varying degrees of quality.
So if you know anything about beetles and have nothing to do on this rainy day – chuck your expertise at this lot!
No really, a small update on patch birds. Common Tern nesting. However, due to the proximity of lots of hungry LBB chicks and knowing how tasty these gulls find Common Tern chicks, this breeding attempt will fail. Starlings, post breeding murmuration in situ – 50+ birds and rising. Goldfinches, Swifts and House Sparrows daily. Herring Gulls breeding. Bird X (or was it Y?) has successfully fledged young. The other night there were four cracking full summer plumaged Meds between the piers in Yarmouth. Nice. Ringed Plover this morning. More nice.
The patch list has picked up a couple of ticks, but that might more accurately be a couple that should have been entered already – it’s the complacency of recording the common species situation again. Subsequently the year list probably needs updating.
My other option for this blogpost title would have been “ay-up cock” or any equivalent. But as you can see I have chosen the above. If for no other reason than to paraphrase the following intercourse.
“Oh, Vic – I’ve fallen”
“Oh, no – are you alright?”
“I think so, just some mild chafing”
Your internal monologue may be working around a phrase resembling “what on God’s earth is the man going on about now?”
Fair enough I say – best you have a look at this picture of a bug what I saw in the patch yesterday.
It is, according to my best estimate a Cockchafer Melolontha melolontha. And according to my (unreliable) bug book it should have stopped flying around a couple of weeks ago.
Nevertheless, fly it does. A bit.
Another tick on the pathetically small panpatchtickon.
More specifically a patch moth that I have been unable to identify. Any ideas?
I have seen birds recently by the way. In case you were wondering…
Before this lunatic quest was embarked on, I wouldn’t really have given this plant a second look, never mind take a photo or identify it. It is evidently bitter to eat, and I can inform you that it is quite small. Do feel free to enjoy Biting Stonecrop Sedum acre.
Elsewhere, I may have seen an Xiphydria prolongata, but it moved too quickly to get proper views. Thrilling eh?