A post on Mostly Macro by Dean the other day showing a nice Brimstone butterfly set me thinking about how our areas differ in such a small country. In Northumberland we are in a dry but very cold area of the UK. The geology is mostly hard rock based so we have relatively short, fast flowing rivers, few marsh lands and very few mature woodlands. We do have a lot of upland bleak landscapes and a mainly farmland coastal strip.
So what is different?
We dont have Brimstone butterflies. They have been recorded but are about as rare as a Camberwell Beauty here. We have only just started getting Speckled Wood in the past couple of years and Holly Blue is a Mega.
Of the dragonflies you can count records of Broad bodied Chaser on one hand and Brown Hawker is a myth.
We don't get Privet, Eyed or Pine Hawkmoths.
We have no Grass Snakes, Slow Worm is very rare and I have never seen a Grey Squirrel in the county!
Corn Bunting is about extinct, Turtle Dove and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker are both rare and crowd pullers when the odd one turns up.
So, what do we get?
Plenty of seabirds. Terns, Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks get swiped over while looking for better stuff on seawatches. They are everyday birds. Merlin is an easy bird on the coast in late summer / autumn. We do alright for scarce migrants such as Pallas's and Yellow browed Warblers who both reach 'year tick' status. Coastal waders are abundant. There are Red Grouse and Black Grouse though Black is getting quite rare.
Back amongst the seabirds, Roseate Tern breeds in good numbers and are easy to see after mid summer. Glaucous and Iceland Gulls are regular and every other year ( or even more regularly) Waxwings arrive in good numbers, Snow Buntings are quite widespread too.
In the forests such as Kielder, Goshawks show well in early spring display flights.
Red Squirrels are still seen regularly.
Of the insects, Black Darter is common on moorlands and Emporer moth widespread.
So I suppose it balances out in the long run...with maybe the line south of the Wash to the Severn just clinching it for variety!