On Friday I carried out a check of our dormouse boxes in the LERL; sadly no further evidence of their nesting activity. However the boxes are certainly being put to good use by the Blue Tits and Great Tits...
At the moment over 1/3 of the boxes contain either Blue Tit or Great Tit nests
Common Frog tadpoles in the shallows of Pond 3 (I like our exciting pond names)
I was checking the final Dormouse box when I spied this well-hidden nest between the boles (thick stems) of an old coppiced hazel, proving it to be rather useful habitat. They are likely Blackbird chicks and might have a harsh appearance just now, but their eyes are beginning to open and in a few more days their feathers will be pushing through...
Blackbird chicks in a nest
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) in Horleyland Wood. These guys are territorial; it flew laps around me and always landed back at this spot
(The butterfly formally known as Cabbage White) a Large White Butterfly (Pieris brassicae), over in Goat Meadow
A rather conspicuous stalker...
A few days previously Scotty Dodd, Surrey Wildlife Trust's expert entomologist, visited this site with me in preparation for summer invertebrate surveys. I netted one of these and took a picture before releasing it back out. Scotty identified it as a type of Cuckoo Bee, most likely the species Nomada leucophthalma.
Potted for a close-up of this cool little wasp-like bee
No pollen-collecting bags on her back legs... this tiny sneak travels light!
I spotted many of these tiny burrows along the edge of the path in the woodland strip - likely to be Nomada's target host
The host solitary bee in question - Andrena clarkella, eyeing me suspiciously
This little lady is what the Nomada are busy hounding - an early ground-nesting bee with the lovely name of Andrena clarkella. They are an early season solitary bee and mainly collect the pollen of willow flowers. It was great to take a moment and watch the bustling activity of all these different invertebrates, deeply engrossed in their individual missions while the good weather held out.
Brown Tree Ants (Lasius brunneus). They nest in the old deadwood of trees, probably in one of our large veteran oaks of the woodland strip
Then a bonus end to the day is finding your only pencil where you carefully left it on the footpath.