Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday, 23 July 2014 16:45
I'm embarrassed to admit it's took a me a few years to figure out that the super abundant snail at Bible Bottom, part of our Southerham reserve, is the monastically named Carthusian Snail Monacha cartusiana. This is a red listed species but there are hundreds up there. I would say it was the commonest snail yesterday. I was quite taken with them and their understated beauty. Bible Bottom was also full of thousands of Chalkhill Blues yesterday, quite an experience to walk through, go and have a look if you get a chance!
Adrian and I were carrying out a grazing assessment as well as mapping some of the scarcer plant species such as Basil-thyme and Bastard-toadflax. The Bastard-toadflax has mostly gone over but we did see eight nymphs and one adult of the scarce Down Shieldbug Canthophorus impressus that I recorded new to East Sussex there last April. The nymphs are so bright! Great to see it and the plant doing well there and amazed at how the range of the Bastard-toadflax almost completely overlaps with the Chalk Milkwort (which flowers earlier in the year, there is not a trace of it left by mid summer). I would guess that they require the best chalk-grassland; with the lowest nutrients and/or the thinnest soils, accompanied with adequate grazing.