Somerford Common: Sunday, 22nd August 2021

It has been a while since I have been to this site. Every time I planned to go, something got in the way, so I was pleased to be able to get there this morning. Unfortunately, it is suffering from the same malaise as all of my other woodland sites! I was joined by David for the morning.

The weather was spot on for the session: after torrential rain last night the morning arrived dry and virtually windless. We met at 6:00 and set up three net rides in our usually most productive areas. It really wasn’t the result we wanted: Great Tit (1); Wren 1[1]; Robin [2]; Blackcap 1[2]; Chiffchaff [1]; Bullfinch (1). Totals: 2 adults ringed from 2 species; 6 juveniles ringed from 4 species and 2 birds recaptured from 2 species, making a total of 10 birds processed from 6 species.

As you can see, not a lot to write home, or a blog about. There were two highlights however. Neither was bird related. David noticed some movement on his rucksack and was surprised, and delighted, to find this running around his bag:

Common Lizard: Zootoca vivipara

It was only about 10cm long. This is the first lizard that I have seen in 9 years of working the site. Apparently, it is also known as the Viviparous Lizard, because it gives birth to live young. This was definitely a young beast. I loved the bluish tone to the tail area.

Later on I found this on my rucksack (why were these things attracted to rucksacks?):

Dark Bush Cricket: Pholidoptera griseoaptera

This is the second Orthopteran that I have had the pleasure to encounter close up in the last couple of days. On Friday of last week I photographed this on the windscreen of my car:

Common Green Grasshopper: Omocestus viridulus (Male)

With the birds just not appearing we packed up early and left site by 11:30. I know from others’ posts that the autumn migration has started. Here is hoping that a few of them start dropping in at my sites! I will be trying out the meadows at Ravensroost and Blakehill Farm when the weather allows hoping for better things.

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