Saturday, 18 June 2016

I wouldn't mind seeing one of these!

Sometimes a fortunate observer (whilst toiling in the field) will find something that will grab your attention. It will grip you by the collar and shake you like a rag doll. It will make you want to see it. It will make you want to give up your right and left arm to do so. What sort of species could make you feel this way? Something like this...


A big, colourful, obvious and very rare beetle. It's called, Calosoma sycophanta. Also known as The Sycophant....

I didn't find it or see it. Graeme Lyons did. He took the picture above that I hope he doesn't mind me using - after all, I'm bigging him up and suggesting that you read his account of the 'find of the decade' by clicking here.

I had spent a most miserable morning on Park Downs, soaked through from my toes up to my thighs via the medium of wet grass, suffering from a mild bout of labyrinthitis, and coming to the conclusion that the orchid meadow that hosted so many Bees and Pyramidals last year is not going to be so well attended in this year. I came home deflated. And then I saw Graeme's posting about his wonderful find. It made me want to put back on my saturated socks, shoes and trousers and get back out into the field. Maybe not for a Sycophant (although I would not grumble if there was one that showed up), but just because this event shows the rewards that are out there.

Graeme is an avid field worker. He has earned this moment in the sun. He will have others. But to find such stuff you need to be out there looking, not sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself.

6 comments:

  1. I've been reading about his find today Steve, what a creature that is! Fantastic.

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    1. Yes indeed Stewart. It's not often that I am envious of a beetle!

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  2. Steve, I was soaked within 15 mins of that survey from the knees down, a regular consequence of those farm surveys. I put my boots on wet this morning and took them off wet 12 hours later. I was rewarded with singing Quail at 5.45 am this morning. I'll put my boots on wet again tomorrow.

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    1. OK Graeme, I'll come clean... I'm a wimp!!

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  3. I have to concur with Graeme, I suffered the same fate five mornings running on The Swale NNR last week - too much long grass and rain!

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    1. Derek, there's a saying - "There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing"...

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