Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sunshine - Hallelujah!

Finally the weather has turned, typically I was miles away from my square! Hurrying back I managed a couple of hours in TQ1960 and was nicely rewarded for my efforts. First species of interest was a Noctule Bat hawking at treetop height in the bright sunshine...a bit unexpected! Apparently they do this after hibernation but before giving birth to boost their intake. I could just about hear it clicking away as it swooped overhead. Sweet. Sticking with vertebrates for a while I ventured onto Bramble Heath to check the reptile tins. A Common Lizard was sat on top of one tin. At the Highest Point the usual 'snake spot' held a large Grass Snake and two Adders. A Chiffchaff was in good voice (well, y'know, good for a Chiffchaff...) Final vertebrate addition was a Bank Vole messing about alongside a fallen tree trunk.

Next was the turn of the inverts. Despite the warmth I utterly failed to find any butterflies, bee flies or solitary bees. A couple of bumblers got away, but I added Early Bumblebee Bombus pratorum to the tally. Rather embarassingly this was a lifer for me. I have a lot of work ahead of me regards bee ID. A lone Orange Underwing swept its way around the tops of a stand of birches.

Additions to the plant list thus far were Coltsfoot in flower, Woodruff and Common Mouse-ear.

376 - Noctule Bat - 1 hawking over Webbs Folly, Epsom Common (!)
377 - Bank Vole - 1 in undergrowth near Bramble Heath
378 - Early Bumblebee Bombus pratorum - a couple, Epsom Common (LIFER...a'hem)
379 - Common Lizard - 1 sunning on a tin sheet, Bramble Heath, Epsom Common
380 - Chiffchaff - 1 singing near Wells Entrance, Epsom Common
381 - Grass Snake - 1 at Highest Point, Epsom Common
382 - Orange Underwing - 1 over birches, Horton Heath, Epsom Common
383 - Woodruff - several under trees near Wells Estate gardens, Epsom Common
384 - Common Mouse-ear - in kerbsides, Wheelers Lane
385 - Coltsfoot - in kerbsides, Stamford Green Road

I've a handful of bits and pieces potted up and awaiting ID. If the weather stays warm (or at least warmer than 3c) I could hit 400 within the next week or so. Fingers crossed, back to work tomorrow.

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