It's a mad, mad, mad autumn

The longest period of hot weather since records began in 1659 has Britain's wildlife totally confused. Here are some examples

A A A

1. Basking sharks in record numbers off west Scotland/Hebrides: Their zooplankton food is drawn north by the warmer waters. More than 300 seen in six months; normally found off Cornwall/ Devon.

2. European white storks, Darlington: a stork stayed in the area for four days. It is believed to be only the second bird of its type to appear there since the 1960s.

3. Stunning foliage: the Woodland Trust predicts a colourful autumn; catch the maples turning at Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury.

4. Conehead cricket, Cumbria: a rare insect and never before found this far north.

5. Primroses, Isle of Man: at least five months ahead of schedule, this September flowering is a sign of a spring plant truly confused by our increasingly warm climate.

6. Carpenter bee, Huddersfield: normally found in the Middle East and North Africa, this is the furthest north that the inch-long carpenter bee has been spotted.

7. Piranha, Stockport: this sharp-toothed predator from the Amazon river was caught in a Cheshire pond this month by 14-year-old Josh Boyle. Experts believe it to be an abandoned pet.

8. Giant sunfish, off Cornwall: up to 2m long, these monsters have always visited in summer. Now they come in greater numbers, and stay for up to 11 months of the year.

9. Stingrays, Cornwall/ Devon, sightings up 10-fold: placid creatures, but they can attack when provoked.

10. Conker crisis: up to 10 per cent of drought-weakened horse chestnuts infected with bleeding canker; fungus and moths attack the trees too.

11. Baby blackbirds, Sussex: magpies and blackbirds spotted building nests and rearing chicks, in an extended breeding season. A cold snap will spell disaster for them.

12. Blackberries, Margate: recorded 21 June in Kent, for BBC's "Autumnwatch". Average fruiting is 1 August now; it's no longer an autumn fruit.

13. Little egrets, London: this Mediterranean visitor regularly nests on the south coast; it has now established a breeding colony at Thames Water's Walthamstow reservoirs.

14. Wild grapevine, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex: a wild vine, with great bunches of black grapes, is thriving on a railway embankment.

15. Baby hedgehogs, countrywide: Hallswood Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk is caring for 20 babies. Warmth has led hedgehogs to rear new families that are unlikely to survive the winter hibernation.

16. Harlequin ladybird, Nottingham: from Asia, these invaders devour greenfly, leaving few for native ladybirds. First found here in 2004, they soon covered the South-east and this year have also been seen in Leicestershire and Wales.

17. Hummingbird hawkmoth, South Yorkshire: rare northern sighting; the moths' home is Central Asia and Japan.Spotted also in Surrey and London. People see them hovering and report "hummingbirds" in their gardens.

18. Speckled wood butterfly, Edinburgh: never before seen in central Scotland, one of these butterflies was spotted in a garden in Edinburgh. It is one of a number of species moving their usual habitat north.

19. Hoopoe, Aberdeen: the colourful birds are sometimes blown off course and land in the UK while migrating, but this one was a long way from its usual route. Hilda Fowlie spotted the bird - she said it grubbed for worms, then flew off.

20. Triggerfish, Thurso: found washed up in the extreme north of Scotland. Not uncommon in the English Channel but extremely rare so far north. One was also caught off the Isle of Man last week.

News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Arts and Entertainment
books New York Times slammed over summer reading list
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine