Firstly , many thanks to ShySongbird for identifying the first species on yesterday's post . The Solitary Bee was in fact a fly , Sicus ferrugineus , which probably explains why I couldn't find it .
Mind you , with a name like that , it should be on the duck list .
The second species was identified by Mel Lloyd , for which I am very grateful , and is a Saproxylic Beetle-Tumbling Flower Beetle / Tomoxia bucephala . I have tried to find out more about this species , but although there are many entries , very little information is available . It would appear to have come from Scandinavia /Russia , and was first recorded at Wicken Fen in 2006 .
Thank you very much Mel for your help .
Turning to today , the day of the Dormice/Reptile survey up on the Greensand Ridge , which can only be described as a very wet one . I was joined on today's survey by fellow Blogger Phil / Sharp by Nature , and fellow 'wildie' Terry Laws . The early part of the morning was just overcast , but as we reached the halfway stage on the first site , the heavens opened . With vegetation in places as high as us , we just got wetter and wetter . Added to that , we failed to find any Dormice on the first site , but on the upside , nearly every Tit nest had successfully fledged , just the odd egg being found . The only box with eggs/young , was one temporarily occupied by a Wren . By the time we started on the reptile refugia , we resembled drowned rats , and the Bracken and Bilberry in the area of the refugia , at times head high , just added to the wetness . The odd Slow Worm , a Common Lizard , and two very large Grass Snake sloughs , shed skins , raised the spirits , but a bit of sun would have been appreciated better . On the roadside between the first two reptile sites , a Stinkhorn / Phallus impudicus was found , the smell of rotting flesh attracting flies , which in turn carry the spores to others of the species . We actually managed to have lunch outside , before the next heavy shower put paid to that . The afternoon was more of the same weatherwise , but finds did get better on or near the refugia . Several juvenile and a good sized adult were found , then a large female Adder , surprisingly lying out in the middle of another heavy shower . Eventually , she sloped off to the shelter of a tree stump , when one of the lads spotted this specimen almost infront of us . The main reason that it wasn't seen earlier , was it's size . Another job for the 35mm film canister , suggested by Phil . A probable female , born last year , that too got fed up with the rain and moved off . The Dormice boxes continued producing spent Tit nests , until the sight of a few green leaves in one box , produced what we were hoping for , a male Dormouse , a first for the lads , and the rain was forgotten . The survey finished in the rain , and we were all glad to get back to the yard for a hot drink and to straty to dry out .
The best find of the day though , was a Common Buzzard nest with what we are pretty sure was young in it . Guess where I'm going tomorrow ? Weather permitting .