Discovery Bay Science Weekend 11th/12th March

Come and be a Bayologist in British Science Week and explore 100 million years of wildlife!

There will be microscopes, rockpooling, fossil hunting and birdwatching as we take a look at the amazing natural world of The Bay.

iWatch Wildlife (The Society’s new species recording project) will be getting involved helping out with species recording over the two days, please do come along – it would be brilliant to see you there – any help with species identification / recording / would be warmly welcomed! For more information please search for @IWNHAS on Facebook or contact Tina


Isle of Wight Moth Report 2016

Mother of Pearl © IF

The Isle of Wight Moth Report 2016 is now available to download here.

Iain Outlaw writes in the introduction to the report: ” Although the first two weeks of January were mild the following months were dominated by wet and unsettled weather causing a negative impact on Lepidoptera. (more…)

Wight Botanists New Year Plant Hunt 4th January 2017

Eight of the botany group gathered at the top of Appley Steps to start the hunt for native and naturalised plants (not planted in gardens) which were in flower. The definition of ‘in flower’ requires the anthers to be visible. A male Hazel (Corylus avellana) catkin fully open had already been observed and at our feet was a plant of Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) in bloom. We set off along the cliff top and round Rylstone Gardens to find more species, including Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major). (more…)

Exciting new fungus find

Dave Dana has discovered one of our rarest fungi in private woodland at Appuldurcombe. (more…)

Ian Boyd tells us about broomrapes

The broomrapes are up and about in hedgerows and roadside verges and it’s a good time to track them down.


November Fungi

Magpie Ink Cap © GTa

Magpie Ink Cap © GTa

Dog Stinkhorn © GTa

Dog Stinkhorn © GTa

Gary Taylor had been out and about and sent us some pictures taken in Borthwood Copse; Magpie Ink Cap (Coprinus picaceus) and Dog Phallus or Dog Stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus). Dr Colin Pope, one of our joint Fungus Recorders, replied

‘It’s not something we see a lot of but this autumn seems to have been a particularly good one for Magpie Ink Caps. They seem to be popping up all over the place.’


Luke Ellison sent us a very comprehensive report of several different species of Ladybirds he had seen and photographed on the Island’s coast. This was in response to our poster which requests sightings. Our Beetle Recorder, Bill Shepard, has a ‘Beetle Drive’ going at the moment. These particular ones included ‘Harlequin Ladybirds’ which we are interested in as an increasing species here.

A rare moth

Mecyna asinalis © HS

Mecyna asinalis © HS

Helen Slade saw a moth on her ceiling in late September and sent us some photo’s in the hope we could say what it was. The answer came back from Tim Norris ‘it is a pyralid, Mecyna asinalis‘ of which he had ‘never seen the adult but the larval feeding damage is very distinctive as it makes large white windows in the leaves of wild madder – very obvious at this time of year. Its an IoW speciality and is very rare in Hants’.

A Hawthorn

Yellow-berried Hawthorn © DW

Yellow-berried Hawthorn © DW

In September Daphne Watson reported finding ‘a spectacular yellow-fruited form of hawthorn in a farm hedge in the Rew valley in full fruit at the moment’. and we asked Dr Colin Pope, our Botany Recorder, about it. He replied ‘How interesting! I’ve never come across this before and I’m unaware of any yellow-fruited cultivars. I assume this is Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). If you’re back that way check that the haws have only a single seed (easily done by crushing between your fingers). There is a yellow fruited cultivar of Midland hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha ‘aurea’) which may escape from cultivation or be accidentally included in a planted hedge. Crataegus orientalis has orange-yellow fruits. Hawthorn is very variable in the wild. In the spring you can find bushes with a wide range of flower shades from white to deep pink. It sounds as though a yellow-fruited cultivar is garden-worthy and should be taken into cultivation!

Hummingbird Hawk Moths

Hummingbird Hawk Moth © IF

Hummingbird Hawk Moth © IF

Kris Codd & Pete Bradley mentioned finding one of these and asked was it unusual? Ian Fletcher said about it ‘The status given in the field guide says they are immigrant, suspected resident, and goes on to say, “a frequent immigrant from southern Europe and north Africa, most numerous near the south coast, but has reached all parts of the British Isles and the Channel Islands. The number recorded varies considerably annually and in some years exceeds 1000. Suspected breeding resident in south-west England, where it hibernates in small numbers.” and adds ‘we had 3 hummingbird hawk-moths here this year and our next door neighbour has had several at a time on her buddleia. We went today to photograph a moth which needed sending off for identification and the recorder had a couple of them on his buddleia’