Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Treasure Hunting

We've been hunting for treasure all morning at an event organized by the Chiltern Society. We set off with bug pots, pooters and tick lists and made our way along Whiteleaf Hill. We were mostly in the woods, so looked under lots of logs and searched for different leaves, then spent some time out on the grassland above the chalk cross.
The clipboard was very popular!
Under the logs we found lots of lovely big slugs, millipedes, centipedes, ground beetles and woodlice.
Leopard slug

Flat-Backed Millipedes

Banded Centipede


Door Snail

Cellar Snail
Ground Beetle and Woodlice
We even spotted a Banded Centipede that appeared to have just molted. They have an exoskeleton, so as they grow they develop a new larger exoskeleton underneath the old one, then shed (or molt) the old one. You can see the discarded orange skin next to the very pale centipede. I assume the cenrtipede will soon darken up to its usual orange-brown colour.

Somebody (not us) found a toad hiding under a log.
Common Toad
Out on the grassland our best butterfly find was a Dingy Skipper.

There were lots of spiders lurking in the grass and we found soldier beetles and a common green shield bug.

Wolf Spider

Soldier Beetle

Common Green Shield Bug
We all had a look at each others treasure, then headed over the road to Brush Hill for a quiz in the woods.

Brush Hill
Just as we were getting to the end of the treasure hunt we found three owl pellets. We took them home and will dissect them later to see what the owls have been eating.

Owl pellets full of fur and bits of bone
All good half term fun!

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