It was time for the Dormouse and Reptile survey , up on the Greensand Ridge .
Both surveys proved hard work in the heat , and both produced very little return . The conditions seemed very good for reptiles , but the results said otherwise . A sub.adult and an immature Grass Snake , a total count of just three Slow Worms , one of them enjoying the sun in natural surroundings rather than under refugia , was a pleasant change . Just a single Adder , a male was recorded , and from the look of him , it was only because he was digesting a meal , that we found him under one of the tins .
As far as Dormice were concerned , just two single males , one at each site , was all that we could muster , and no photographs , as both were very active . It is worrying that we have not found a female , or a family on either this survey or the last , as this is their breeding season . We were joined again today by a university student , who is studying Dormice for her degree . She has been spending much of this season attending surveys like today at many sites , and she confirmed that it is not just us finding very low numbers , it is the same on every site that she has been to . Two years ago , at this time of year , we would expect to have found 20+ animals , including young , in the same number of boxes .
A few insects that we came across were , this juvenile Common Green Grasshopper , which wanted to get in on the finger thing , and what looks like a creche of juvenile Pied Shieldbugs , on the underside of a leaf . If it hadn't been for ShySongbird identifying one a while back , I wouldn't have known what they were . A plant we came across had us all head scratching , till we got back to the yard at lunchtime . The flowers were saying Ragwort , but the leaves were not . It was top heavy and laying over under it's weight . Looking through the wild flower guide , the only one that comes near is Alpine Ragwort , but the book said that it was not found in GB , but was in France and Germany . Anyone got any other ideas ?
Only other things of interest were a couple of fungi . The first , with no common name is Polyporus badius , a leathery type , starting grey/brown , then going this Chestnut colour . The second , a bracket type , Daedalea quercina-Maze-gill , doing what it says . the second part of the latin name , indicating that it is virtually restricted to Oaks , and the common name describing the underside perfectly .
3 hours ago