Friday, 9 June 2017

Tonight's the Night

You might recall that I recently blogged about The Big Day that is 10th June 2017. No? Really? FFS why do I even bother... Click here to refresh your memory. 

Ok, so now you know what I'm on about. Cool. Well anyway, that means that at the stroke of midnight tonight I shall begin my 24 hour tickfest marathon. I'm pretty hyped about the whole thing, I even bought myself a brand new notebook for the occasion! I've had a chat with Graeme Lyons, voiced my concerns regards his relying on field identifications and the large risk of misidentifications that will result from that. He reckons everything will be "legit" and that he probably won't even take specimens on the day (!!!!!) Bloke's a nutter.

I shall be starting in the laundry shed, I guess. Should get me a few bits and bobs seeing as the light stays on all night and the doors are always open. Nice population of Amaurobius similis on the ceiling, usually a moth or two in the corners and possibly a Tipula maxima on the wall. It'll be a start anyway. Tachypodoiulus niger should be out and about beneath the security lights on outside walls, mayby a few Porcellio scaber too. Fingers crossed the Tawny Owls will be vocalising. A few of the live-in staff here know what I'm up to, so I might have a bit of company for the first ten or fifteen minutes. 

I have two low tides during the course of the day. The first is at 2am so I expect I'll be wandering along the beach with my torch and a bucket! It's a fairly rubbish low, just 1.12 metres. It drops to 0.58 metres nearer the end of the month, which would be a lot more interesting, but I'll still give it a damn good go. 

Sunrise is at 4:28am though it'll be getting light by not much after 3am. By 6am the weather is meant to start getting a bit rubbish with the winds increasing (helpful for keeping the midges at bay) and rain sweeping in for the rest of the day right through to mid-evening. Oh and it'll be driving rain for much of that time thanks to another increase in wind speeds.....sheesh! This will seriously hamper my eventual total, insects aren't very active in strong winds or rain.

This is what I can expect for tomorrow. Meh.
I shall be returning back to base around 10am for staff breakfast so shall post a comment below giving you my running total of identified species. Likewise I'll be back at 5pm for staff dinner and will post another comment. Please stay tuned, I'm hoping to surpass 400 species but it's entirely weather dependant. Will I just jack it all in and hit my bed? Will I stay the course and keep going until the following midnight? 

Cor, this is almost as riveting as watching the election results come dribbling in - and yeah I was up until gone 3am this morning watching Labour storming ahead of the Tory scum. Hung parliament you say? Should start with that godawful bitch in Downing Street for starters, I can even supply the rope. No charge. I'm so pleased her crafty little scam has backfired in her face and that the Bullshit Broadcasting Company and associated Tory media failed to demonise Corbyn. Has Britain's apathy finally started to run off of the populace? Let's hope so. 

15 comments:

  1. Good luck. You should be at 2/3 of the 1k by the time the weekend's through. Rain's erally going to be an issue when it comes to racking up numbers, though bryophytes and lichens really do shine when they're wet ;)

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    1. Bryophytes and lichens do not shine. Ever. Well, apart from Goblin's Gold which is pretty bloody amazing to be fair. Not that I've seen it up here.

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    2. Graeme should be at 2/3 of the 1k by about late morning. Meh.

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  2. I think you are all bloody mad. You'll be all over the place by early afternoon with sleepiness and a mind overladen with natural history stuff. Probably hallucinating. A good time to string something really, really good...

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    1. Willet in the gorse scrub? Hawk Owl on the beach? Egyptian Nightjar at the peanut feeder? Let me know what you need and I'll do my best :)

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    2. Hahaha, I'm now trying to picture an Egyptian Nightjar on my peanut feeder. Reckon it'd get its rictal bristles caught up in the mesh. Probably get beaten up by the local Greenfinch too, he's a bit of a bully :D

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    3. Awaiting your updates with baited breath.
      And seriously, the best of good fortune to your plans.
      Pete

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    4. Cheers Pete, I ought to be sleeping by now but nah - just not happening :( Luckily I've stocked up on Red Bulls and Mars Bars to keep me going! Weather forecast has altered a tad, rain now only realistically expected between 8am and 1pm and then again late evening. But it's only gonna hit 9 or 10 degrees all day. Still, it's looking better than it was!

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  3. Rather you than me, but good luck to ya! Your Hebridean PSLing recently had me reminiscing and scrolling back through my photos from Mull, and I found one of Wilson's Filmy-fern that I'd completely overlooked at the time. A nice arm chair tick as they say in the business! Perhaps one for your radar tomorrow?

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    1. Cheers buddy! That 'Filthy Fern' is up here somewhere, I just haven't found it yet. Killarney too, I bet. 10 mins to go...I better get me boots on :)

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  4. So that's the first 150 species done and dusted by 3:30am. Pity I don't have a moth trap coz there's been a few out there tonight, would prob add a good few extras. Back indoors at the mo to ID a few bits before it gets properly light, though the dawn chorus started at 3:10am. Cuckoo calling was a relief, could have easily missed that. Quick sandwich and Red Bull time methinks!

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  5. Back early for breakfast thanks to the fact it's been chucking it down since 7:15am. Giant fry up has done the trick though, wet clothes off, wet weather gear on...I hit 200 at 5:38am, 250 at 6:38am and currently stuck on 286 at 7:50am. Good news is that the rain is meant to clear a bit earlier than anticipated.

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  6. Almost 5pm and I haven't even swung the net or bashed anything, not once. Too windy, too wet, too cold. No butterflies, 4 individual bees, I'm soaked. Plus I missed the low tide coz I got my times mixed up (1420 is SO different to 4:20...) But I'm over 400 species so am well on track to overtake Graeme by mid-September (he's on 900 at the mo, da bastard):D Staff dindins at 5pm then I'll hurl meself back into it. I can see blue sky....

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  7. Just back in from grassland survey course and thought I would check how you are going. Real shame about the weather but hope you can add lots more before the finish.
    Pete

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  8. 10:45pm. Spent a bit of time at the microscope but can't be doing with keys right now. Got a few down to genus, they aren't going anywhere. Off to grab a coupla beers from the bar before it closes and do a last few circuits of the lights for moths n stuff. Total a rather disappointing 458 species so far (plus another 15+ to come if I ever ID the backlog), I wish the weather had been better so I could've smashed 500 in a day. SIX lifers so far!!!!

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