23 May 2015

Moth dip at Thursley: 23 May

Made a late afternoon/early evening trip to Thursley Common to try and attract an Emperor Moth using pheromones (many thanks to Keith Kerr for the loan). No Emperor Moth (too cold maybe?) but some nice lowland heathland inverts, plants and birds.

Freshly emerged Four-spotted Chaser

Mangora acalypha - a small orb spider found locally on heaths mainly in south-east England

Pleurota bicostella - a common heathland specialist preferring damp areas. The larvae feed on heather. LOTS of these around today

Brassy Tortrix Eulia ministrana - prefers woodland but we found this one on the open heath

Plenty of Bogbean Menyanthes trifoliata flowering on the mire at the moment - an aquatic species of acid bogs, widespread but
scarce in south-east England now that many of the regions wetlands have been drained

Birds noted include 1m Dartford Warbler, 1 Woodlark, 2(1H) Tree Pipit, 3(1H) Common Cuckoo, 1m Stonechat, 1 Curlew, 2m Reed Bunting, 1 Skylark and 4 (2m, 2f) Tufted Duck. Also a few Common Lizard were seen on the boardwalks.

17 May 2015

Hazel Dormice: 17 May

I've now started working towards obtaining my dormouse handling licence. Carried out two nest box surveys today - one at Sheepleas and another nearby at Green Dene - an area of ancient semi-natural woodland on the North Downs in Surrey comprised largely of hazel, beech and yew. Found five Hazel Dormice - an active male and three torpid females at Sheepleas (including two females together in a nest in the same box) and a single torpid female at Green Dene. Absolutely fantastic mammals and surely strong contenders for the cutest animal on Earth?

Female Hazel Dormouse in torpor, Sheepleas

Female Hazel Dormouse, Sheepleas - cuteness at the highest level!

Female Hazel Dormouse, Green Dene

Also noted today were 2 Roe Deer and a Roman Snail Helix pomatia at Sheepleas.

Roman Snail Helix pomatia, Sheepleas