I've not managed a day out beetling for a couple of months and was starting to get withdrawal symptoms. The garden compost heaps and light traps haven't been delivering much beyond the usual suspects and so the opportunity this week to visit a Breckland site in north Suffolk was too good to miss.
Wednesday was really warm and sunny and I stupidly hadn't packed any sunscreen. Who needs that in late September, I said to myself whilst packing my gear. I did have a hat which averted the worst effects but by the end of the day I certainly felt that I had overdone it on 'the rays'.
The site was a mixture of habitats. Some typical grazed and rabbit strewn Breckland heath with areas of different ages and vegetation type. The numerous large stones meant lots of crawling around on hands and knees and flipping these over in order to spy the carabids associated with this habitat. The vacuum sampler also got an outing and was employed frequently, delivering the best beetle of the day. There was also some water features, which whilst mainly steeped banked (and so less good for beetles) did have the occasional less steep, sandy margin which provided a few wetland beetles.
It was reasonably hard going at the total list won't be massive but there were numbers of ground beetles, 3 or 4 species of Calathus (need to check the melanocephalus/cinctus to be doubly sure). Calathus ambiguus was a new species for me and I initially mis-IDd thus as C. mollis but the shape of the pronotum is different with sharper corners and a straighter hind edge.
The aforementioned sandy water margins yielded around ten individuals of the weird carabid Omophron limbatus after a bit of liberal water splashing. Only the second time I've encountered this species after first seeing them in Norfolk earlier in the year.