I had a day off this week to do some jobs but also decided on a nice long walk to clear the cobwebs and get some exercise. One of the joys of middle age is sciatica and a good dose of exercise helps with keeping it under control. So I headed northwards towards the coast and struck out along the paths through the dunes, saltmarsh and beach between Thornham and Brancaster.
The weather was glorious and I deployed the baseball cap to avoid sunburn as I walked along checking for beetles in amongst the dunes. All the usual suspects were there including Phylan gibbus and Aegialia arenaria.
There were also lots of Philopedon plagiatum plodding along the sand or sat on vegetation.
I walked back along the beach looking under the tideline debris at various points, hoping to find some staphs but there was very little there. The most common stuff was Sitona lineatus and Oulema sp., presumably blown from further inland. Under one pile something different caught my eye and I managed to grab and pot it before it managed to burrow back into the sand. A quick look with the hand lens and I could see it was a male Bledius and one of the ones with the impressive pronotal jewelry!
|Look at the pronotal horn on that!|
It turned out to be Bledius spectabilis and is a species I've wanted to see every since seeing its image in the Lott guide. I've no idea what the horn is for but only the males have it. A spectacular looking beast.
|Here, hare, here|