The Dormouse and Reptile survey up on the Greensand Ridge was once again conducted in overcast conditions , with the vegetation still wet from overnight rain , meaning once again , a soaking from the waist down . It was also done in record time hing both sites before lunch , made possible by the Warden and myself being able to open boxes as we are both licenced handlers . Nothing was overlooked , but the Warden is on leave from tomorrow , so had a list of last minute jobs that we had to do in the afternoon . The pictures are poor because of the conditions and using my old camera , but the highlights of the survey were ,
4 Dormice found , 2 on each site , one female and three males . Three were active , but this male was in a torpid state , probably because of the cool conditions , but at least it meant it was possible to get a few shots in the hand . This large Grass Snake was also sleepy , waiting a good time before moving off .A total of 15 Slow Worms on the two sites , topped by this specimen that was at least 30cms. in length .Another large specimen was this female Adder , laying out on a corrugated tin refugia that measures approx 60 cms. square .When the Adder moved off , another large Grass Snake was found under the tin with a smaller one , bringing the total species count to 9 on all sites .
Last job of the day was to deliver the Land Rover to a garage to have a new winch fitted whilst the Warden is off . I followed him to give a lift back . The garage was very close to a site that Steve/Kingsdowner sent me details of , as the roadside verge contained a plant that I haven't found for 10/15 years . A shame to miss the opportunity , so whilst the Warden sat in the car , I had a look around , just as it started to rain . Anyway , I soon found what I was looking for , the wonderfully named Sneezewort/Achillea ptarmica , a relation of Yarrow and a member of the Daisy family . Also found was Betony/Betonica officinalis , a member of the Labiate family . I could have spent a couple of hours looking around , but the rain was getting harder and the Warden was waiting in the car .
And finally , a moth that landed on me today that I hope is a Rosy Footman .