Vaccinating badgers with Wirral and Cheshire Badger Group

My friend Paul and I were privileged to be invited to help vaccinate badgers on the first two sites vaccinated by the badger group in 2014.  Thank you !

Our role was to head out before sunrise and check each trap to see whether we had caught any badgers, then radio in to the vaccinators so they knew how many badgers we had captured and where.  We then got to watch as the licensed vaccinators did the deed and released the badgers.

We set off at 4am to reach the vaccination site and once again I was grateful to whoever invented coffee.

yup, it was dark Continue reading

Phase 1 habitat survey, near Ormskirk, West Lancashire (2014)

I got this job through a former colleague.  Thanks, Nicola!

Another basic Phase 1 habitat survey to inform a planning application, this time for a small scheme in a rural area.  Not many concerns to put in the report, as all mature trees are being retained and the splendid pond in the field will be unscathed.  Nice one.  Interesting arable flora, too, again unaffected by the project.  A most pleasant morning out.

woodland edge Continue reading

Phase 1 habitat survey, near Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire (2014)

Just your basic Phase 1 habitat survey of a couple of fields, nice-ish hedgerows, a few nice-looking mature trees – until I found it….

The mystery twig.

the mystery twig

Continue reading

More Nathusius pipistrelles at Marbury Country Park :)

Marbury Country Park is turning out to be quite a special site for bats – the annual batbox check turned into a Nathusius-fest !

The day started well with a few soprano pipistrelles:

tree with batboxes

Then the excitement began.  A Nathusius pip !  And not just any Nathusius pip, A RINGED BAT.  And not just any ringed bat, ONE OF THE BATS WE RINGED IN AUGUST ! Splendid.  Extremely chuffed, we could have gone home quite happy at this point.

And so to the next bat box: Continue reading

Sand lizard reintroduction project – the release ! (2014)

After a few failed attempts, I have finally seen a wild sand lizard !  I went out with a licensed volunteer to the established reintroduction site as part of my usual surveying and expected to see nothing, maybe a few common lizards, just like last time.  Amazingly we were lucky enough to see a juvenile sandie and had really good views of it.  Although no photos, I was too busy looking at the lizard to think about getting my phone out.  Chuffed to bits. And it really is like the difference between a smooth newt and a great crested newt – once you’ve seen a crestie, you’ll never confuse the two.

The next day I was invited to come and help with the release of some captive bred juvenile sand lizards at the ongoing reintroduction site.  Cue loads of pictures of cute baby lizards:

busy lizzies Continue reading