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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Sales, London

£70 - 95K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Head of Sales, Milton Keynes

£70 - 90K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Head of Sales, Bristol

£70 - 90K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Head of Sales, Birmingham

£70 - 90K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game