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

Badger surveying for the first vaccinations of 2015 :)

North-east Cheshire has some of the least subtle badgers I’ve ever met.  Not content with leaving super-obvious spoil heaps all over the adjacent wooded bank, this badger decided to make a hole actually in the arable field adjacent, for easy access to all those lovely worms (!)

2015-05-09 11.21.10 (800x450) Continue reading

Warrington Plant Group at Lymm Dam

A straightforward meeting to mooch around and enjoy woodland and wetland habitats at this popular local nature spot.  Hightlights included full house on Cardamine bingo with Cardamine flexuosa, Cardamine hirsuta, Cardamine pratensis and Cardamine amara all present – these are the four listed as common for Cheshire on the BSBI recording card aka the bingo card:

vc 58 extract for web Continue reading

Spring batbox check at Marbury Country Park (2015)

Always a treat to visit Marbury :)  See my many previous posts on bats at this site here, here, here, here and here.  I should probably just make a special page for this particular park, as I will definitely be visiting Marbury again soon in search of more batty fun.  I’ll keep this brief to save repeating myself – we were out of luck this time as no Nathusius pipistrelles were found in the spring batbox check BUT the ringing licence hadn’t arrived from Natural England yet anyway so we wouldn’t have been able to give them any bling if we had found any, which would have been more than mildly annoying.  So perhaps it was for the best.

The final tally was 22 soprano pipistrelles spread across 3 batboxes – all female and at least some pregnant – plus 1 noctule and 1 unidentified escapee which evaded capture.

South Lancs Bat Group and Cheshire Bat Group are teaming up again this year to harp trap at sites in Cheshire to look for Nathusius pipistrelles so watch this space for more Marbury-based adventures.

Liverpool Botanical Society meeting, Dibbinsdale, Wirral

I do try to get round all my local botanical groups, but we are blessed with so many in my local area that I sometimes feel like the mythical member who clicks ‘like’ on the Facebook page but never actually turns up in real life!  So it was really nice to catch up with friends in Liverpool Botanical Society and enjoy a visit to Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve at the same time.

oak coming into leaf Continue reading