Ophion obscuratus, North Elmham, 16th February
On Friday I spent the day in the Brecks where a number of insects were evident. Most were unidentified flies and I was a little surprised not to see my first butterfly of the spring given the warmth and frequent sunny spells. I saw a bee briefly but didn't manage to catch it or see it at rest. I did manage to catch one of several small beetles flying around a copse, and eventually identified it as a new speices for me, Cercyon unipunctatus. I haven't managed to identify the ticks it was carrying though...
Cercyon unipunctatus, Brecks, 17th February
Satirday night produced my first Tufted Button Acleris cristana for the year along with 3 Pale Brindled Beauties and a Chestnut.
Tufted Button Acleris cristana, North Elmham, 17th February
Last night there were 3 Pale Brindled Beauties and my first Dark Chestnut of the year. The latter species flies in autumn through to late winter/early spring and I usually see quite a few - for example 6 at home in 2014/15 and 17 at home in 2015/16. However this season I hadn't seen any and as it's already past the latest winter date I recorded them in 2015 or 2016 I thought I'd missed it for this season.
Dark Chestnut, North Elmham, 18th February
Today I had a quick wander round Beetley Common where I actually managed to identify a fungus for a change - Birch Polypore. There were some more tiny bracket (?) fungi on a fallen branch very much like the ones I saw at Felbrigg during the week and which I still haven't managed to identify. Also I noticed a lot of silver birches with what looked like orange rust on one side. I'm not quite certain but I think it's something called Trentepohlia (the genus - there are several similar species) which, despite its very orange colour, are apparently types of green algae (Chlorophyta).
I also found a couple of woodlice beneath some bark. I checked loads of woodlice using the FSC key last year and nearly all of them (in fact it might have been all of them) turned out to be Common Rough Woodlouse. One of the two today was black and big and looked pretty much like many of the Common Rough Woodlouse I've seen before but the other was more colourful and much smaller. I took it home to check, optimistic that it might be something new. No, turned out to be a Common Rough Woodlouse too - presumably a young one?
Common Rough Woodlouse, Beetley Common, 19th February