A look at some of the NatureSpot highlights of 2018. More...
When we moved into our present house thirty years ago, the neighbourhood was ruled by House Sparrows. Their favourite perch was the guttering above the bedroom window and their piercing cheeps woke me every morning. One long border in the garden was filled with yellow crocuses each spring, which looked magnificent for one day - until the sparrows swooped down en masse and shredded them. And then, seemingly overnight, the sparrows were gone. Now, when we come across a hedge bursting with House Sparrows out in the County somewhere it is a cause for at least as much delight as the Ospreys returning to Rutland Water. The point of this is that every record submitted to NatureSpot is precious - every Blackbird, Dandelion and bumblebee, for, in the words of Joni Mitchell:
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til it's gone.
But this post is actually about new sightings. Of the nearly quarter of a million records we received at NatureSpot in 2018 (each one individually checked and verified!), hundreds were for new species we had no previous sightings for. There are far too many to list individually but there are lots that stand out. The Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum) made a welcome return to the County after a gap of nearly 90 years. A Shore Lark (Eremophila alpestris) popped up in Bradgate Park rather unexpectedly, and in the City of Leicester we had out first ever record of the Blunthorn Nomad Bee (Nomada flavopicta), without yet managing to record the host species on which it depends!
Every record you submit is precious, so, if you're still in a New Year Resolution type of mood, why not take a look at My Records (you may need to be a bit patient for the information to come up) which will tell you what you contributed in 2018 - and resolve to beat it in 2019?