Monday, 25 November 2013

Pan-listing tourism

Next year, if everything goes according to plan, I will become a bit of a 'pan-listing tourist'. I'd better explain...

In the murky world of pan-listing, additional credit is given to those who seek out and identify species for themselves. Although this isn't something that has been admitted to, the inference is there - to be shown something by somebody else that you couldn't have identified on your own (although countable) somehow lacks purity.

Most of the naturalists who keep a pan-species list do strive to identify all they can, but there are some groups that are just so difficult that you need to seek the help of the experts. Such groups for me include lichens, bryophytes and fungi (I won't even bother to mention the myriad insect orders). I do possess excellent guides for all three of the mentioned groups, but when out in the field I soon relaise that I need help if I want to get beyond the basics.

So, I have found a bryophyte field trip being held on Epsom Common next February, and a Surrey/Sussex based fungi group that hold field meetings throughout the year. These I will make an effort to attend. At a crass, base-level they will provide plenty of lifers. But on a more meaningful level, the education that I will obtain from experts in these fields will hopefully kick-start me into becoming a better naturalist. Hopefully my 'educated guesses' will be transformed into correct identifications.

I will look around for further opportunities to dabble in 'pan-listing tourism' as the year unfolds. It might be the only way that I can get a handle on a lot of our wildlife.

4 comments:

  1. I heartily recommend joining the LNHS on one of their ecology and entomology group outings next summer. They're often out Surrey way as it's so good for lowland heath, chalk downland, ancient woodland and wood pasture. Sad to say I won't be in the area in 2014 but the regulars - Tristan, Sarah, Mick, Neil etc are great people to learn from. There's also the monthly Bookham Common survey which is also very, very good and has people of all interests turning up on a regular basis - botanists, birders, entomologists, gall recorders etc.

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  2. Thanks for the recommendation Rob. I've been a member of the LNHS for 35 years but have not been on any field trips. Maybe it's time to break the duck...

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  3. Nah, you don't want to do that. All very over-hyped. Just stick to Patch and ignore anything and everything you're unsure of. It's the safest way.


    (safest for we fellow PSLers slipping further down the table.....)

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    1. Is this your idea of a plan to forge further ahead of me in the PSL table Seth?

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