Badger vaccination survey, east Cheshire (2014)

I haven’t any photos from today as it peed down for pretty much the entire survey !  Here’s one of Paul’s to show you what I mean:

Badger surveyors by Paul Hazlehurst @sankeypatcher

Luckily we found signs of badger which was guaranteed to put a smile on our faces, including snuffle holes, latrines and a scratching post.  All good information in our quest to find suitable places to trap and vaccinate badgers.  Read more about the project here and here.

Bat survey and harp trapping at Tatton Park (2014)

Another trip to Tatton Park to take part in the extensive survey of the site and look for Nathusius pipistrelles.

We had a great night with loads of noctules feeding over our heads whilst surveying near the southern boundary of the Park.  Meanwhile, at the harp trapping site, the team were catching……….. wait for it…..

Soprano pipistrelles.  All juveniles, too, interesting.  Maybe the adults have got wise to the traps ??

No photos from tonight, sorry.  I only have my phone camera and although it does have flash it doesn’t take the best pictures in the dark !

Local Wildlife Site Monitoring 2014: Old Mineral Line, Lea Green

This is one of those strange places characteristic of north Merseyside and parts of Wigan where reed canary-grass grows in seemingly dry grassland.  I once surveyed the line of a proposed road in Wigan and had to leave part of the site because someone had helpfully set fire to it and the grassland was ablaze.  When I came back a couple of months later to finish the job, reed canary-grass had grown up all over the burnt area, despite it being dry as a bone.  This is supposed to be a swamp plant but there’s no accounting for taste !

This site is on the edge of the conurbation of St Helens and has an industrial history, being part of the local brickworks.  There are slag heaps and mounds and wet drains all over the place, making for quite an interesting place in terms of biodiversity.  Interesting enough to be a Local Wildlife Site, in fact. Continue reading

Slag heaps and saltmarsh in Flintshire with the BSBI

Regular readers will know that I often venture into North Wales in search of botanical excitement and this time I visited Flintshire with the local BSBI recording group.  A slag heap might not sound that salubrious a venue for a botanical meeting, but in fact Bagillt Marsh is rather interesting, with several rare species and lots of diversity of flowers on display.  It runs right into the saltmarsh which makes for some interesting soil conditions and vegetation transitions.  Here are some pictures from the day – highlights include maiden pink, white mullein, spring sandwort and lots of lovely yellow-wort and centaury: Continue reading

Local Wildlife Site Monitoring 2014: Carr Mill Dam

Carr Mill Dam is a popular spot for a day out in St Helens, whether you enjoy walking, riding your bike, powerboating or just dipping a toe in the water.  Did you know it is also one of the most important sites in the Borough for wildlife ?

Carr Mill Dam lakeview Continue reading