A good day: Omophrons, Lycopodiella, Bog Bush-cricket and Nike Air.
Mark, normally a docile sort of ecologist, has taken just a few paces onto the site before he kicked some water up from the small lake onto the adjacent sandy beach. The peace and quiet was broken by "f*****g hell" repeated 24 times at high volume. A small green and brown beetle looked up, wondering what the fuss was about. So started a visit to a new site for both of us, a redundant gravel pit in north Norfolk.
The beetle in question was Omophrons limbatum, a rare beast of bare, sandy freshwater margins with fluctuating water levels, previously known only from the Dungeness/Rye area and the Norfolk/Suffolk border. The gravel pit had tumbled back to heathland since excavation and looked worthy of much more scrutiny than we had time to give it. Looking up from the beetle, we noticed Sundew colonising the lake margins. Nearby, another local rarity, the Marsh Clubmoss Lycopodiella inundata was noted, probably at only its second Norfolk site. Up into the heather, and Bog Bush-cricket was added to an ever growing list of scarce species. Who says gravel pits are dull. Nearby, Nike was announcing a new eco-range.