Here at Rospannel Farm we are fortunate to be surrounded with spectacular scenery and a vast variety of wildlife.
Bernard is particularly fascinated by birds and 'bugs' and we are involved with many wildlife recording projects, including ringing wild birds.
We are actively involved with our local Wildlife Trust, the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS) and other local biological recording groups.
We have included downloadable files for each taxonomic group which we hope will be of interest. All files are in PDF format. If you are unable to read this these files you may need to download separate Adobe Reader software to your computer.
Some years ago I decided to try and identify every living thing that I'd seen on Rospannel Farm, the lists below go some way towards this end, with well over one thousand species identified so far, unfortunately a lot of them only have scientific names and it would have been difficult to include photos of everything, but most can now be found on the web elsewhere.
I started making a list of people to thank, for helping me with the identification of the 1,300 species so far listed from Rospannel Farm, then realised that it was impossible to include everyone individually, as I had been born knowing nothing, and hundreds of very kind people had taught me along the way. In recent years, the members of CISFBR, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation of Biological Recorders, and those tallented people that run all the freely available searchable websites have been a huge help.
We have our own private bird watching hide for our visitors to use and welcome bird-watching enthusiasts.
The hide over-looks a half acre pond where dragonflies and damselflies are also very active in the summer.
We have been involved with a national bird ringing project since 1994 and have ringed over 40 species of birds here including, Firecrest, Linnet, Pied flycatcher, Redstart, Redwing, Reed warbler, Sedge warbler and Spotted flycatcher.
At Rospannel Farm we actively encourage butterflies and moths by planting synoptically.
Holly Blue pumping up wings
As many of the moths are identified and recorded as possible, and the moths are released back, unharmed, into the wild. So far we have recorded approx 500 species. Our moth record data can be downloaded as PDF files below.
There are quite a few 'lepidopterists' in west Cornwall and Rospannel Farm hosts moth mornings for The Cornwall Wildlife Trust and local moth enthusiasts at short notice, notifying those interested by email.
Ants, bees wasps, saw flies etc
On the 19th. July 2006 I first noticed a Leaf-cutter bee entering a small drainage hole in the side of a large flowerpot with a piece of leaf. From then on I spent many hours noting its journeys to and fro collecting pollen, nectar and pieces of leaf.
It usually did not start work until around noon, by which time the sun had reached the flowerpot, and finished by late afternoon, but worked extremely hard and continuously during the afternoon. If it was late starting because of the weather it worked on a little later.
By the 30th. August 2006 she was exhausted, the weather was bad, and when she was unable to summon enough strength to climb back into the nest, and was obviously going to die, I reluctantly decided to take her to have her identified.
Lots of minute parasitic wasps had been around the entrance of the nest during the Summer, thanks go to S.A.Corbet for identifying these as Pteromalus venustus (listed as P.apum (Retzius in Degeer) in Fitton et al. (1978)).
During the Autumn I constructed a fine mesh cage and placed the flowerpot in it, intending to mark the females as they emerged in the following Summer.
Unfortunately the Summer of 2007 was as you all know, almost non-existent. Two males emerged on two separate days at the beginning of June and were released from the cage. Being used to handling Honeybees it was most noticeable that when being released that they took of without a backward glance, off into the distance, not orienting themselves as to where they had to return to. Obviously, they had no need to return.
These two males were all that emerged, the weather been too bad from then on.
Thanks to David Baldock for identifying M.willughbiella, and many thanks to all who helped steer me in the right direction.
Beginnings of a wasp nest
picking up Lucilia caesar
Other Wildlife records from Rospannel Farm
Female Black-tailed skimmer
Vagrant Emperor (female)
Volucella bombylans var. haermorrhoidale
Female Volucella pellucens
Male Chrysotoxum bicinctum
Cheilosia variabilis (mating pair)
This photo shows the Muscid fly, Coenosia tigrina sucking
the body fluids from a Cleg fly, Haematopota pluvialis,
having immobilised it in mid-air.
This is believed to be the first time this has been photographed.
Misumena vatia male
Arion ater with egg mass
A white Devil's-bit Scabious
Speckled Bush Cricket nymph
Mutinus elegans ravenelli
Amphibians amphibians and everything else
Local Nature reserves
Cornwall Wildlife Trust have over 50 nature reserves throughout Cornwall and there are some locally in West Cornwall. Visit the Cornwall Wildlife Trust web site for details of their nature reserves and also their events and activities.
The National Trust also own much of the land and historic places in Cornwall including many of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB)'s. Visit the Devon and Cornwall section of their web site to find out more.
Chun Quoit on the West Penwith Moors a nature reserve owned by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust