Badger and bat surveys, Staffordshire (2015)

I did a Phase 1 habitat survey on this site last year and remembered thinking that owing to the mature trees on site, some sort of bat survey would be a good idea.  Turns out the client (a small ecological consultancy) thought so too, and so I was duly summoned back to site to learn whether there was any significant bat activity.  Or, indeed, any badger activity, as this is a rural area.

I roped in my friend J, who has snazzier bat recording equipment than I do, and the benefit of a bat licence, and off we went to find out. Continue reading

Lesser horseshoe bat summer roost counts (2015)

Yep, that’s right, there are soooo many lesser horseshoe roosts in North Wales that they need bat workers from Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire to get together to have a snowball’s chance of counting all those bats!

Every year, Natural Resources Wales pick two dates in June to do simultaneous, co-ordinated emergence counts at as many roosts as possible in the area around Llanrwst in an attempt to monitor the population of lesser horseshoes.  Whilst it’s not as common for lesser horseshoe bats to switch maternity roosts as, say, common pipistrelles, they do move around regionally and are aware of and use various roost sites across the year.  This means that bats which used one roost last summer might be somewhere else this summer, according to the weather or other roost conditions, so we need to count all the roosts, or as many as possible, to have any idea of what is going on with the total population at any one time. Continue reading

British Bryological Society summer meeting, Snowdonia (2015)

I spent all week outside in Snowdonia and didn’t wear my waterproofs once.  It was sunny, dry and warm all week.  Unbelievable !  Basically, this means the organiser Sam has the ability to control the weather, so you should definitely go to any future events he arranges.  I certainly will !

BrySoc put on two summer meetings each year to record mosses and liverworts in under-recorded areas of Britain and Ireland – in 2015 this is the mountains of Snowdonia and the island of Eigg off Scotland.  Since I live just two hours from Betws-y-coed, I could not miss this event.

wandering in search of bryophytes Continue reading

North Wales Plant Group at Rhydymwyn (2015)

There is so much to see at Rhydymwyn Nature Reserve that we only managed to cover the grassland at this meeting and will have to come back again to look at woodland another time!

2015-05-30 12.08.33 (800x450)2015-05-30 12.08.53 (800x450)

Bat surveys, Liverpool, Merseyside (2015)

I don’t do many professional bat surveys, as a rule, as I don’t have a bat licence and don’t feel comfortable leading survey work without one, despite the fact that I’ve been surveying bats for over 10 years.  The world of planning applications has changed and local authority ecologists are getting pickier, sometimes turning their noses up at surveys from unlicensed ecologists.  This has to be a good thing, really, as the expectation that ecologists will be suitably qualified can only lead to higher standards in our profession.  Anyway, on to today’s post. Continue reading

BSBI Fumaria meeting, North Wales

The best botanical meetings seem to start in pub car parks, and we had pubs on both days of this meeting :) Continue reading

First bat trapping session of 2015

After an interminable wait for our harp trapping and mist netting licence for the Nathusius Project, we finally got started.  In time for the weather to turn wet and windy :/  Amid the cancellations though, there have been some great sessions in May, and I went to Alderley Park mid-month, where we harp trapped and mist netted 19 bats in one session, and I personally handled and processed 2 soprano pips and a brown long-eared.  Continue reading