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.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick