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 .