that it will shortly slough , shed it's skin , when the eyes will return to normal . For all the walking today , only two Adders were recorded , this female under a felt , in the shade of Bracken , and a large male , which was the last reptile recorded before leaving the site . Even the Slow Worms didn't turn up , with just 7 being recorded all day .
The only Dormouse recorded today , was found in the 69th. box out of 70 . It was a very active male , weighing 15 grams , a good weight for the beginning of the breeding season , and no Warren , I'm not strangling him . On the top of the Ridge , Bilberry , a plant of heathland and moors , is in fruit , and in various stages of ripening . In the same area , a very large Grass Snake was found , not under the refugia , I think it was too warm to be under today , but lying in the dappled shade of the Bracken . I think it was a female , and when she did move off , she must have been almost 1mtr. in length . All the refugia in this area failed to have reptiles beneath them , so it was good to find something else of interest , in the shape of this female Emperor Dragonfly . We watched her hawking for insects amongst the Heather , Bracken and Bilberry , and when she finally settled , I managed to get a shot . Where she was hunting is a long way from water , but , having emerged from the water somewhere , she is feeding up , away from the attentions of males , before returning to the water to mate and lay her eggs , to form the next generation . Later on , a juvenile Grass Snake was recorded , this one showing blue eyes , a sign
Butterflies recorded included Painted Lady , Meadow Brown , Speckled Wood and I am very pleased to say Small Tortoiseshell , for the second day running , when two were found scrapping in a farmyard . Let's hope they are on their way back after a few lean years .
As today was quiet , I'm posting a few shots from the last few days , having a bit more time today . One for Warren , with a pair of Mint Beetles .
Also at Fackenden Down yesterday , whilst looking for Small Blue eggs on Kidney Vetch , I came across this Weevil , I think it might be Phyllobius viridiaeris , and one small patch of the Down , where the Fragrant Orchids are starting to go over , but still making a colourful show .
And finally , A flower I found growing in the dunes near Southport last week , that I had great difficulty identifying . I think it is Common Wintergreen , but I stand to be corrected .