Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Wednesday 18th.August 2010

Today was Dormouse and Reptile survey day up on the Greensand Ridge . The highlights of the day's surveying were , The two young families of Dormice found on the last survey , nearly 5 weeks ago , were found safe and well , and looking as if they were ready to leave the box . The picture is of one of the 'pinkies' that I posted after that last survey . The combined weight of the four was 3/4 grams then , today each one weighed in at 9 grams , and with plenty of food about , should make a good weight , hopefully ensuring a safe hibernation over the coming Winter . It would have been nice to post a 'four in hand' shot from today , but it was hard enough to get a shot of one in my holding pot , especially without flash . The reptile results were not as good on the first site , just a few Slow Worms , and the same at the second , but whist on that site , recorded an immature Migrant Hawker resting on a Silver Birch sapling , and for the first time this year , I managed to get a shot of a Pigmy Shrew found under one of the refugia .The third reptile site produced an unusual Slow Worm , in that it was almost as fat as male Adder for the first two thirds of it's length from the head , before thinning down to an average size towards the tail . Interestingly , another similar specimen was found later on another site . This site also produced the first Adder of the day , a female enjoying the sun , in amongst the Gorse .Found in a damp area , Weeping Widow-Lacrymaria velutina ,and a Russula sp. , probably R.cyanoxantha var.peltereaui , a green version of The Charcoal Burner .Out in a meadow , Field Parasol-Lepiota procera , 35mm. film cannister for size comparison .
One of several moths disturbed on the survey , I think this one is Engrailed , but I will be put right if it isn't . Needless to say , I wasn't right . Thanks to Dean and Josh for the correct identification - Mother of Pearl .

A Labiate growing in another damp area , which I believe is Red Hemp-nettle-Galeopsis angustifolia .The last site proved best for reptiles , with female and 2 male Adders being recorded . One of the males was still in full breeding colours . He also appeared to have sloughed recently , the cast off skin was found close by . The site also produced one adult and four juvenile Grass Snakes , two of the juveniles pictured .

9 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Nice mixed batch of sightings today Greenie. I always enjoy hearing about the Dormice.

Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

the moth is mother of pearl

josh

Phil said...

Great stuff Greenie. Really like the Adder shots. I've also found Slow worms that appeared fatter at the front end than the back. Could it be something to do with tail loss at some time perhaps?

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
Well you certainly had yourself a full day, a great one at that. Good to know that the dormice are a good weight for hibernation. Great assortment of photo's.

Dean said...

Josh`s right with Mother of Pearl. One of the micro`s believe it or not.

Greenie said...

Dean / Josh ,
Thanks for the moth ID , I'll get one right - one day .

Phil ,
The two I saw today showed no sign of having lost their tails . The thin part was a really good size , and the thick part was as thick as a thumb .

Kingsdowner said...

Some more great pics, and a good variety too.
Good to see more food growing, in the shape of Parasol mushrooms:-)

I don't think the red hemp-nettle is a red hemp-nettle - they tend to prefer drier soils and have narrower leaves. But don't quote me.

Dave J. said...

Hi Greenie
As always great shots of the reptiles

Wilma said...

The colors of the recently sloughed male adder were nicely crisp and rich. Great show today.