Saturday, 18 July 2015

Dormouse! And Chalk Downland Flutters

I was up and doing early this morning because it was Dormouse Survey Day. Fifty boxes in two hours yielded only one of these magical creatures, and, unlike last time, he was wide awake and feisty as can be.

I know it may look wrong, putting him in a plastic bag, but the aim is to minimise the stress of handling while they are checked over, weighed and recorded and they are not in the bag for long before they go back into the peace and quiet of their woodland home. Once again we were with a licence holder while checking for them (it is illegal to check Dormice boxes or to handle one in the UK without a Natural England licence), so had an expert on hand to help.

I was thrilled to see what is only my second ever Dormouse (you may remember last month's one, and this is a Perfect Excuse to post his picture again....:o) ), and while the picture quality of #2 isn't great at least you can hopefully see the little fellow..
 

Dormouse house complete with 'bung' (a duster) we use to block off the hole while we check for occupancy

Hazel woodland- prime Dormouse habitat

A typical Dormouse nest (the green leaves are a hint that there may be a Dormouse inside)

Busy Little Dormouse

And now, just because we all loved it so much, here is last months (very sleepy) Dormouse again....

 

I stopped off at one of my favourite Chalk Downlands on the way home to see whether the Chalkhill Blues were out yet. They weren't on the area I checked, although I bumped into a chap who had seen them further down the Hill.

I didn't leave bereft by any stretch of the imagination, clocking up my first Essex Skipper of the year, a Silver Y and some Six-Spot Burnet moths, among others....


Essex Skipper (distinguished from the very similar Small Skipper by the black undersides of the antennae)

Fireweed or Rosebay Willow Herb

Goatsbeard

Goldfinch enjoying seed heads

Can you spot the Grasshopper?

Marbled White

Meadow Brown


A very ancient Painted Lady

A similarly venerable Red Admiral

Red Tailed Bumble

Silver Y moth

Six-Spot Burnet moth

Six-Spots mating

Small Blue

Small Skipper (the undersides of the antennae are coppery colour not black)

Small Skip

Small Tortoiseshell


White Knapweed and two small flying friends

Wild Parsnip (the root is highly poisonous)
This week I am hoping to catch up with the Chalkhills, Water Voles, Purple Emperors and learn how to put a zip in a bag and sew a button hole. How about you? 

I will also have my boy home from Wednesday afternoon. When I got home after Dormouse surveying this morning, he'd made a batch of madelines which smelled divine and tasted pretty darn lovely too. I am looking forward to having six weeks together. When I gave him a hug this morning it was a bit of a shock to realise he is not all that far off my height now, and can wear my shoes and my hoodies too. It won't be that way for long- I have a feeling by this time next year he will have shot past me in height and the hints of deep voice that are there now will be a permanent fixture. Where does the time go?
 
Hope you enjoyed the little Dormouse and are all having an Especially Lovely weekend. Thanks for reading my dears,

CT :o)

 

30 comments:

  1. I am so pleased you found a dormouse - even one is better than none at all. And, as usual, your nature pictures are superb.

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  2. Fantastic photos CT.. awww I remember that sleepy little dormouse from last time.. so cute :o) xx

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    1. I don't think I'll ever tire of seeing them in the wild :o)

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  3. It's the time of year to take stock of the offspring isn't it. My eldest left primary school for good yesterday. We went for an upland walk today, I think we might have seen several small skippers, I shall examine my picture next to your picture. Lots of marbled whites, and something small and blue that I couldn't get close to. Still loving the sleeping dormouse picture. How nice it would be to have a fluffy tail to hang on to while you sleep. And good to see an awake dormouse as well. CJ xx

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    1. That's quite a milestone isn't it? The end of primary. They are usually ready for it though in my experience. Probably common blue flutters, although Chalkhills are starting to emerge- not sure whether they are found as far up as Glos. And as for the Dormouse, such lovely little creatures xx

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  4. Love the dormouse picture. :)
    I've had some gold finches in the garden this last week - such pretty birds.
    Hope your weekend is going well. x

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    1. Thanks, Sara. Been busy with various wildlife-related things as usual :o) x

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  5. You can show the photo of the dormouse every time you post. I never will get tire of seeing the tiny cute pie.
    Wonderful post today.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Hoping to see some babies if I can get on a course later this year! x

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  6. Well the little dormouseis adorable so small in your hand. Love all the buterlies adn wild flowersin this post as well.

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  7. I think it's a very good year for butterflies, or maybe I'm just paying more attention! I'm pleased you found a wide-awake dormouse. We went on a long cycle yesterday morning through shady woods and along hedgerows and heard and saw much scampering and rustling. Our proposed golden hour walk on Leith Hill last night after the concert was thwarted by the rain! So we came home to watch the cricket - life is all about compromise isn't it?

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    1. The warm weather definitely helps them, but you do also notice more when you're looking for things x

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  8. The dormouse is just adorable, you lead such an exciting life, love reading up on your wildlife exploits reminds me of walks with my dad as a child. Mine finished on Friday & has shoes 4 times larger than my own & is ever so slightly taller than me, I am now officially the shortest person in my family. Time certainly does fly by. Nothing as exciting for me this week but it is my last week in work before I have a weeks holiday. I shall take this time to read through the extremely thick instruction manual for my new sewing machine beast & think of a suitable name. x

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    1. I bet you can't wait for the holiday, and the sewing! Dying to see what you make...xx

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  9. The dormouse is just too sweet, I'd love to hold one, but I don't know if I could put him back in his little nest. :-)

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  10. fabulous -- a wide-awake dormouse! i'm so delighted for you.

    clearly i'll have to work on my Stalking....the fluttery people are rampant just now but either they're always in a rush or i'm a stampeding elephant and they generally skip away before i have a chance to get a close look! i fancy myself as rather Stealthy, but apparently that's a delusion. :)

    my 12 year old is already wearing my shoes -- or should i say, i'm wearing hers?...which is more to the truth. and my baby boy will be 11 in September....ye gods! i continually marvel that they were once small enough to be toted comfortably about on one hip....

    xo

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    1. Wide awake and then some Mel! I've never seen anyone so scampery :o)

      I do sometimes wait ages for the flutter shots....

      xx

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  11. Lovely to see the dormouse photo again - unbelievably cute and wonderful to take part in such a survey.

    Gorgeous photos of the downland flowers, butterflies and moths. :)

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    1. Hoping to do a fuller course later this year which hopefully will result in seeing Dormouse babies.... x

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  12. There are so many butterflies down here in East Sussex - painted ladies especially. How lucky you are to see dormice - I have never seen one in the wild.

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    1. Haven't seen many Painted Ladies this year so I'm glad they're down with you in numbers.

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  13. Of course we enjoyed the dormouse and the flutterers too!!!!! I hope that your sewing goes well this week, I wish that I was brave enough to try and put a zip in! Hope you have a good week! xx

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    1. You'd be a whizz at doing zips if your craft projects are anything to go by :o) xx

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  14. Lovely post with plenty of wonderful photos, same as all the others...
    Dormouse sooooooooooooo cute...
    Amanda xx

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    1. How did your butterfly spotting go this weekend? Lots out down here but the weather was spot on. Hope it was good up with you too xx

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    2. Hey CT,
      Lovely flutter pictures. I always salute those old butterflies, especially the ones that have been through the wars. It was great weather for spotting butterflies here this weekend. I saw some beauties. As for growing teens; does yours come with a side order of hormonal growling?
      Leanne xx

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    3. We're currently in a remission-phase from hormonal growling, although judging from the last few months I fear it won't last long! xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x