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2000 for 2000

by Andy Musgrove

Warning: This note contains claims of a number of outrageous species - please do not read on if easily offended.
Non-wildlife readers might as well give up now!


The final hurdle was reached (and exceeded with ease) with the help of Mr John "Bird-seed Alien" Martin in and around Bristol on the weekend of 11-12 November. A hideous day of rain on Saturday didn't deter us and we opened the batting with Hoary Mustard and Many-seeded Goosefoot on Severnside, despite dipping Ring-necked Duck. The mega Purple Gromwell was ticked with ease at Weston Big Wood but Wayfaring Tree eluded our best efforts. Following minor crises involving child car-seats and flat batteries, we made it to Wain's Hill at Clevedon where the superb Tree Medick was in bloom, probably the only plant in the country of this species! Adria Bellflower and Trailing Bellflower were local escapees, naturalised onto nearby walls, but of more native pedigree were Rock Samphire, Long-bracted Sedge and (as it currently stands), number 2,000, the indescribably nondescript Sea-milkwort. Having recovered from the massive adrenalin rush of the Glaux and a failed attempt to find Jack Snipe and Pear Tree, the list was further bolstered by Ivy Broomrape, Stinking Iris and Square-stalked Willowherb. Not to be outdone by Mr Martin's botanical expertise, I hit back with a volley of leaf-mines (well two) on a Rowan tree, which we identified in the pub as Phyllonorycter corylifoliella and Stigmella aucupariae.

One unfeasibly large all-day breakfast later, we screamed along to Chew (via a stop at Rickford duckpond for the splendid Cape Pondweed). Mr Martin then attempted to convince me that I could tick four plants along Herriot's Bridge which had grown from food chucked out for the ducks - Spiny Cocklebur, Bullwort, Niger and Ragweed. And you thought my ticking morals were low! John also got me chewing on bits of trees, probably as punishment for making him go out in such foul weather, but I did get Almond Willow for my troubles. We then checked out the famed Chew toilet block for moths but given the complete absence of any concluded that one Mr Rick Andrews must have already been and removed them all.

Seeing as we'd descended to the depths of ticking depravity, we now headed for the Cumberland Basin / Bristol docks. Perennial Wall-rocket made a valiant attempt to stand up for true native plants but was beaten back by hordes of aliens, with Finger-grass galore, Perennial Amaranth, Eastern Rocket and Willow-leaved Cotoneaster. To end the day, we headed for the edge of Avonmouth oil refinery and pulled Tall Melilot, Moth Mullein and Sea Radish out of the bag.

Sunday morning dawned much finer with a short "dude" walk around Clevedon yielding no year-ticks but a Pyracantha bush heavily infested with the famed Firethorn Leaf Miner - a new site? An afternoon walk on Portishead sea-front with Mr Martin however, provided a stunning bonanza of ticks, again presumably from discarded seed. After noticing a Sunflower on the tideline, closer inspection yielded Buckwheat, Courgette (!), Cockspur Grass, Canary Grass, Millet, Green Bristle-grass and Yellow Bristle-grass (and another Amaranth - tba John?) Sea Rush and Procumbent Pearlwort were natives also ticked.

The score now appears to be something like 2,030! This will lessen somewhat in the coming days as I review the list and remove the dodgiest ones. Remember though, its not over until the Scarce Umber flies!

Many thanks to all who have helped me in this most futile of tasks - you know who you are.


Cyanobacteria sp (Blue-green Algae sp) to Phallus impudicus (Stinkhorn)

Enteromorpha sp (Seaweed sp) to Drosera rotundifolia (Round-leaved Sundew)

Helianthemum nummularium (Common Rock-rose) to Polygala serpyllifolia (Heath Milkwort)

Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse-chestnut) to Eupatorium cannabinum (Hemp-agrimony)

Butomus umbellatus (Flowering-rush) to Ophrys apifera (Bee Orchid)

Flustra foliacea (Hornwrack) to Phrygaena grandis

Eriocrania subpurpurella to Cydia pomonella (Codling Moth)

Epermenia chaerophyllella to Polyploca ridens (Frosted Green)

Archiearis parthenias (Orange Underwing) to Deilephila porcellus (Small Elephant Hawk-moth)

Furcula furcula (Sallow Kitten) to Macrochilo cribrumalis (Dotted Fan-foot)

Acantholyda erythrocephala to Vipera berus (Adder)

Gavia stellata (Red-throated Diver) to Grus grus (Crane)

Haematopus ostralegus (Oystercatcher) to Dendrocopos minor (Lesser Spotted Woodpecker)

Lullula arborea (Woodlark) to Miliaria calandra (Corn Bunting)

Erinaceus europaeus (Hedgehog) to Phocoena phocoena (Porpoise)



Cyanobacteria   Blue-green Algae
Fungi   Fungi
    "Transitional Groups"  
  Algae Seaweeds
  Bryophyta Mosses
    Equisetopsida Horsetails
    Pteropsida Ferns
    Pinopsida Conifers
Non-conifer flowering plants
  Ectoprocta Hornwrack
    Anthozoa Anemones
    Scyphozoa Jellyfish
  Annelida Worms
  Echinodermata Starfish
  Chilopoda Centipedes
  Diplopoda Millipedes
    Polyplacophora Chitons
    Gastropoda Snails and slugs
    Bivalvia Bivalves
    Crustacea Crustaceans
    Arachnida Spiders and allies
    Insecta Insects
    Chondrichthyes Sharks and rays
    Osteichthyes Bony fish
    Amphibia Amphibians
    Reptilia Reptiles
    Aves Birds
    Mammalia Mammals