Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Tuesday 24th.November 2009

Unexpectedly , today was the last Dormouse survey of the year . I thought that they had all been done , but I was mistaken , and for those who had thought they had seen the last of little furry things for the year , sorry . The weather forecast was interesting this morning , one TV channel said it would be grey all day , the other said rain all day . If they get their information from the same source , how could they be so different ? Anyway , we set off to do the 50 box site first , not really expecting to find anything , so we were pleasantly surprised when we found a semi torpid male in one of the boxes . He was awake , but not charging around , so making a photograph quite easy . We popped him back into his box once he had been sexed and weighed . About half a dozen boxes further on , the photo opportunity was even easier , with a fully torpid male being found . Interestingly , the two animals were different in colour , this one an almost grey/brown , whereas the previous one was much more of a gingery/brown . The torpid animal started to react to the warmth of my hand , so we quickly returned him to his box as well . Coming towards the end of the 50 boxes , I slid the lid of this particular one , to find an eye looking up at me , it was a Yellow-necked Mouse . It seemed to be of the opinion , that if he kept his head under the leaves , I would not see him . Unfortunately for him , he was evicted from the box and scampered off across the fallen leaves , only to stop some distance away , to check on what exactly was happening , before heading off to look for new accomodation . No other animals were found in the remaining boxes , nor at the other site where there are 20 boxes , but several nests were found , but they were all cold , showing that they were not in use now . Whilst walking through the vegetation , I was surprised to disturb a moth , which flew off a short distance , then settled again on the underside of a leaf . I managed a shot , now all I need is for someone to identify it , please . Driving between the two sites , I spotted a flower on the roadside verge , and stopped . It turned out to be what I always think is the first flower of the new year , even though we haven't finished this one yet . It is Winter Heliotrope-Petasites fragrans , a member of the Daisy family . The flower is very similar to Butterbur-P.hybridus , but this will not be in flower until March , by which time the Winter Heliotrope will be finishing .
Three new fungi were found today , the first , with a great common name , is Amanita Citrina-False Death Cap .
The second , looking very elegant amongst the grass is Panaeolina foeniscii .The third , also amongst the grass , one of the Wax Caps , Hygrocybe nivea-Snowy Wax Cap .And finally , the Boletus that I found last weekend , has now been identified as Boletus queletii .
Many thanks to Ian for his help with the identification .


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
I know what you mean about the weather forecasts being so different, still at least one of them is bound to be correct. Nice photo's of the Dormice.
Sorry that I cannot help you with the moth.

Richard said...

Great blog Greenie.
Your moth is a Scarce Umber.
It's a fairly common species at this time of year.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Scarce Umber. Looks like Richard beat me to it.

Kingsdowner said...

Good grief, winter helio already.
I see that plenty of alexanders are up, so that'll keep me fed over the winter!

ShySongbird said...

Lovely to see the Dormice again, I too thought we would have to wait until next year so that was a nice surprise. I was about to get my books out when I thought I should check first and as I thought might be the case your Moth has been identified, I will have to be quicker next time :)

You are seeing a huge variety of different fungi, I really think it is a very good year for it. As usual you had me scurrying to look something up. I wondered if Amanita Citrina might refer to it tasting of lemon but I see it is the colour, not that I would dare try one just in case I got the wrong (deadly) one!!

Warren Baker said...

Poor old YN Mouse, what had he dome to be evicted ? A classic case of being Mousist, bloody mousism Greenie!!

Greenie said...

Richard /Dean ,
Thanks very much for the Scarce Umber ID .

Steve ,
It amazes me that there is anything left to eat on your patch .

ShySongbird ,
The only species of fungi I eat is Supermarket , too many experts have made wrong IDs .

Warren ,
Had the YN Mouse been in a YN Mouse box , he could have stayed there . But -

Kingsdowner said...

I like to know where my next meal is coming from. And since we try to avoid factory farmed fodder, that can be a challenge.
The dormouse looks quite tasty, by the way....edible?