|One of the 114 - the striking and migratory hoverfly Helophilus trivittatus|
As an aside, I still maintain my Pan-species list, although I rarely chase it. Recently Mark 'Skev' Skevington and I have been enjoying a friendly rivalry as we keep hopping over each other in the league table, but it is a bit of fun with a blunt competitive edge. I did, however, feel a tad guilty at adding such a substantial chunk to the list in one go, and only because of the expertise of Graeme. I coined a phrase a few years ago for those members of the PSL who spent their time joining various field trips to purely amass a large species total because of the knowledge of others - 'Pan-species Tourism'. And now I was one of those tourists...
In my defence Sunday's trip was about socialising and, in the process, learning. The number of species recorded, or length of the list, was a happy and welcome by-product. It was inspiring to see just what was lurking in a few square metres of grassland when a sweep net and beating tray were utilised. After such an experience you never see such habitat in the same light again.
Will I remember all that I was shown? In all honesty, no. But some of it has stuck. I will return to the list and look up the species, to try and familiarise myself and attempt to find them on my own. To spend time in the field and only look at the birds or plants is fine, but to ignore all the other life that is literally at our feet is a missed opportunity.