Confessions of a Recorderholic

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 12 November 2017 07:30

I've just entered my 50,000th record into my Recorder 6 database. It was the pirate spider Ero cambridgei. Above is a breakdown of the number of records for all taxa with more than 500 records in my database. It may come as a surprise that five years ago I wasn't keeping my own personal database at all. Look at this post from 2012 as I begin the journey. Three years after this point and I've entered my 30,000th record, read about that here. So 10,000 records a year seems about the norm for me. But I only entered my 40,000th record in late May 2017 so actually I have entered 10,000 records in the last six months and 12,770 records so far this year. None of this is backlog, making 2017 by far my most prolific recording year ever. 15,000+ is likely for the year. But I couldn't have done any of it without Recorder 6...

I love this software. It's by no means perfect but it does a great job. I have my own database on my own laptop and I use it for entering all my records onto. This includes my Sussex Wildlife Trust work but also all my freelance survey data. I then synchronize with the SxBRC every six months. I am backed up to the nines. You can do some really great things with this software really quickly, like pulling all the records out and making a distribution map in QGIS. I literally use Recorder 6 maybe 20+ times every day. I'm very pleased with what I have created here and the idea that the software might one day not be available has never crossed my mind. Until now...

This week I received news that JNCC are planning on pulling support for Recorder 6 in Marsh 2018! You can read the announcement here. This is very disappointing and really short notice but hopefully it will result in a good solution long-term, read the comment by Clare Blencowe underneath the above statement. If you use Recorder 6, then please take part in the consultation. So fingers crossed that we have a positive outcome from what appears to me to be a rash and misguided decision. In the mean time, I will plough ahead entering records with what I see as vital and intuitive software that I literally can't do my job without. Now what's the saying? Fifty records a day keeps the backlog away!

I just made that up by the way, no one says that actually except me...but they should!

Wild at Heart

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 10 November 2017 07:14

"This is a snakeskin jacket! And for me it's a symbol of my individuality, and my personal freedom". Sailor, Wild at Heart.

I suspect only the hardcore David Lynch fans will have even the remotest clue as to what I am wittering on about here. Anyways, last week I ran my 'Introduction to Fungi' course at Ebernoe for the second year. It was another great day, it aims to show people that although limited, you can still do quite a bit of mycology in the field before you end up on a spore drive (see what I did there?). So our aim was to beat the 53 or so species were recorded last year and maybe a get a species new to Ebernoe like the Parasitic Bolete we recorded last year. We succeeded on the former but failed on the latter. It's hard to get a new species of fungi at Ebernoe, especially one identifiable in the field when 963 species have already been recorded there. Anyway the highlight was this Snakeskin Grisette. Only the second time I have seen this, the first being on the 1000 species challenge with Dave Green and that was at 2.00 am and I hardly had time to stop and appreciate it. Well done to the attendee who found the specimen!

We picked up some Heath Waxcaps in Leconfield Glade, the first record for the reserve for over 20 years so that was probably the most exciting record. Other highlights included Sinuous, Trumpet and regular Chanterelles, Sulphur Knight, Fluted Bird's-nest Fungi, White Saddle, Horn of Plenty, Magpie Inkcap, Pink Waxcap and a very VERY sloppy Tiered Tooth and a few little extras at the end on Ebernoe Cricket Pitch...

The same attended that found the Snakeskin Grisette found this freaky little oddity that after some discussion with Martin Allison, we think is a young Mosaic Puffball. So, we will be running the course again next year. If you fancy a romp around Ebernoe looking for some of our most charismatic fungi, then please come along.

Nature Blog Network