2019 Pan-species Listing Year Review

This is a review of my pan-species listing in 2019. At the start of the year I set some targets (completely copying Calum Urquhart’s idea https://calumurquhart.wordpress.com/) for how many new species in each group I wanted to see and here’s how I did.

I managed some pretty wildlife-heavy trips to Sussex in April, Gloucestershire in June, the Cairngorms in July and Suffolk in July/August and these were where most of my ticks came from.

Numbers are red if I failed to reach my target, green if I succeeded. I achieved 11 of my targets and failed to reach 26.

I don’t take the achievement of totals that seriously, nor do I really try and boost my totals for the sake of a larger number, hence why lots of the targets are red. Lots of the targets I failed to reach were groups in which I make little or no effort and I was being optimistic setting a target of one addition. However, I reached a lot of my targets in the groups which I put effort into. I tend to mainly accumulate ticks by looking at species and groups which interest me as I go along. However, there are some groups (namely butterflies, Odonata and birds) for which I will often go out of my way to see new species from.

Group 2019 Start 2019 Target 2019 Final Total Comment
Algae 27 30 27
Slime Moulds 0 1 0 Still managed to avoid them despite starting to get into fungi!
Protists other than Algae and Slime Moulds 0 1 0
Lichens 24 25 24
Fungi 104 110 131 I finally got out looking for fungi this autumn, although a bit late in the season, due to getting bored of local birding.
Bryophytes 24 25 25 Glittering Feather-moss Hylocomium splendens in the Highlands was my only addition.
Vascular plants 457 600 590 So close to my ambitious target! This is the year I’ve properly started with plants.
Sponges 1 2 1
Comb-jellies 1 2 1
Cnidarians 10 12 11 Hydractinia echinata was my only addition from Pembrokeshire.
Molluscs 58 70 62 Roman Snail Helix pomatia was a highlight.
Bryozoans 3 4 3
Annelid worms 12 13 12
Platyhelminth worms 3 4 3
Sea-spiders 0 1 0
Arachnids 58 75 75 Noble False Widow Steatoda nobilis was a bit of a bogey vanquished. Other highlights included Fen Raft Spider Dolomedes plantarius, Diaea dorsata and Euophrys frontalis.
Myriapods 13 15 13
Crustaceans 30 35 32 Xantho incisus and Armadillidium album added.
Springtails etc. 7 10 7
3-tailed Bristletails 2 3 2
Odonata 30 39 36 Fell short of my target and was very unlucky with some species (including two of my long-time bogey group; emerald dragonflies) but still a fantastic year. Additions were Vagrant Emperor at Spurn, White-legged Damselfly and Common Clubtail on the Wye, Northern Damselfly in Abernethy and Scarce Emerald Damselfly and Norfolk Hawker in Suffolk. I couldn’t have hoped for Vagrant Emperor at the start of the year, but I managed to see at least 5 individuals at Spurn and Carlton Marshes, including finding my own at Spurn. I recorded 30 species overall.
Orthopteroids 24 26 26 Lesser Earwig and Wart-biter were the additions.
Hemiptera 53 70 79 Highlights included Lake Pondskater Aquarius paludum new to Gloucestershire, Water Stick-insect Ranatra linearis and picking up a lot of the commoner shieldbugs I needed.
Hymenoptera 113 150 155 Lots of additions which was nice. So many highlights but the best were Colletes hederae, Macropis europaea, Dasypoda hirtipes, Anthidium manicatum (finally!), Osmia aurulenta, Anthophora bimaculata and A. retusa (which complete the extant British Flower Bees for me).
Coleoptera 107 140 153 I started doing Ladybirds seriously this year but seem to have accumulated plenty of other ticks too. Highlights included Hydrophilus piceus larva, Chrysolina americana, Anomala dubia, Agelastica alni, Agonum sexpunctatum, Clytra quadripunctata, and Meloe proscarabaeus.
Diptera 90 100 109 Passed 100 which was a good milestone. My favourites were Physocephala rufipes and Villa modesta.
Butterflies 53 55 54 Wood White from the Forest of Dean was my addition. I recorded 37 species overall.
Moths 542 650 662 Highlights included Privet Hawk-moth, Evergestis extimalis, Monopis monachella, Tuta absoluta, Catoptria verellus, Star-wort, Tree-lichen Beauty and finally getting Udea ferrugalis, Nomophila noctuella and, of course, some horrendous ‘bogies’. On another note, are there such things as bogies in mothing? The diversity is just so high!
Remaining small insect orders 16 20 18 Stylops melittae and Agrypnia varia were my additions.
Echinoderms 8 10 8
Tunicates 1 2 3 Managed to get Ascidiella aspersa and Ciona intestinalis in Pembrokeshire.
Fish 42 50 44 I added Montagu’s Blenny and a distant Ocean Sunfish, both very nice! I was seemingly very optimistic with my target.
Reptiles 6 7 6 Not surprising considering I wasn’t targeting any of the non-natives.
Amphibians 7 8 7 Not surprising considering I wasn’t targeting any of the non-natives and you still can’t get to Thompson Common’s Pool Frogs.
Birds 299 320 313 A pretty poor year for lifers, I suspect it’s just much harder when you hit 300! Bad misses included White-tailed Eagle, Ptarmigan and Black Grouse in the Highlands, thankfully I can’t remember dipping any lifer rare migrants except Red-footed Falcon (twice). Despite this, I recorded 240+ (depending on the acceptance of Baikal Teal and whether I actually did sound-record Scottish Crossbill) species, my best year list ever. It didn’t even feel like I twitched that much. My ticks were American Wigeon, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Dotterel, Great Reed Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Brown Shrike, Serin, Little Bustard, Blue-winged Teal, Crested Tit, Stone-curlew, Chough, Red-eyed Vireo, Hume’s Warbler and Ring-necked Duck. While it may seem like I am shallow and plumping for rarity when I say my favourites were Brown Shrike, Little Bustard and Baikal Teal, they were all males in breeding plumage looking as nice as they possibly could!
Mammals 35 40 40 A brilliant year with Wild Boar, Mountain Hare, Pine Marten added, as well as finally seeing Harvest and House Mouse. The latter was a bit unwelcome in that it ate my food in my uni house in Leeds.
Other animals 1 2 1
Total 2260 2750 2733 I remember putting this target down and thinking it wouldn’t ever really happen, I’m amazed I got so close and I could definitely have reached it with my backlog. 473 additions.

 

Here are some photos of my absolute favourite ticks this year:

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Vagrant Emperor Anax ephippiger, Spurn Point – East Yorkshire

 

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Norfolk Hawker Aeshna iscoceles, Carlton Marshes – Suffolk

 

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Wart-biter Decticus verrucivorus, Castle Hill – East Sussex

 

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Wood White Leptidea sinapis, Forest of Dean – Gloucestershire

 

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Privet Hawk-moth Sphinx ligustri, Stroud – Gloucestershire

 

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Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus, Cowden Ranges – East Yorkshire

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Baikal Bad Boy™ Sibirionetta formosa, Kilnsea – East Yorkshire

 

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Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax, Slimbridge – Gloucestershire

 

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Pine Marten Martes martes, Rothiemurchus – Highland

 

And here’s the distribution of my iRecord records by the end of 2019:

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