Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Wednesday 17th. August 2011

First , some left overs from yesterday . Being pushed for time , I published last night's post without reading it back , only to find that I had omitted the majority of the Reptile survey results , and , as I still can't edit anything already published , I couldn't do anything about it .
Anyway , along with the 4 Adders that I did mention , we recorded 19 Slow Worms , including 5 snuggled together under one tin , 9 Grass Snakes , varying in size from small to large , and 2 very young Common Lizards that could well have been born this year . On the way round , we also saw/heard several Common Buzzards and had close up views of two Tree Creepers . Right , that's yesterday finished , apart from thanking Mel for confirming the Black Nightshade .
Back to today , which was much less exciting than yesterday , until I went to strim out the bottom of a hedge , which I layed 2 years ago , in preparation of the Warden trimming it with the tractor and sidearm . Before I layed what was just a few mixed trees on a bank with large gaps in between , it looked nothing like a hedge , and was blotting out one of the best views on the Greensand Ridge , but , two years on , the only way to deal with the regrowth was the sidearm . So I started strimming at the far end , and as I got near to the end , I spotted what I thought at first was a bird's nest . I thought , that's great , they would never have used the original trees . When I got closer to see if I could ID which species had nested there , brown area in middle of shot , I realised that it wasn't a bird's nest at all , but a Dormouse nest , the first one that I have ever found in the wild , built in one of the Hazel bushes . The entrance is on the far side , and there was no one at home . Needless to say , the sidearm never did it's work , as there could well be other , occupied nests along the length of the hedge , I do hope so . Before leaving the site , I put some camouflage over the nest , just in case . The Warden will now wait a good two or three months before doing the necessary management on the hedge . Of interest , it was his first sight of a natural Dormouse nest too . Only other interest found today was this female Rosel's Bush-cricket , identified by that large , curved ovipositor and the pale margin to the entire pronotum side flap .
Finally , in answer to Alan and Warren's question as to whether this is a good year for Dormice , four families and 19 individuals is a good result , but families of 3 and 4 youngsters are a bit on the low side , but mustn't grumble . The definitive answer will come when all the records of monitoring sites are collated by the Mammal Society at the end of the breeding season .


Alan Pavey said...

Great stuff Greenie, thanks, it will be interesting to see how the Dirmice are doing. Well done with the nest find, lucky you knew what you were looking for, anyone else may have carried on oblivious!!

Alan Pavey said...

Sorry, not sure what Dirmice are!!! but if you ever find one let me know :-)

Mel Lloyd said...

What a great find. My envy knows no bounds. Just grand to find dormice nesting in a hedge that you laid yourself. Looks a good hedge with plenty of thick vegetation and long grass at the base, with nuts and berries providing a larder close-by for the wee critters. Sadly dormice nests were not a problem that I had when managing hedging contracts :-( Mel