27th November 2014

Managed an escorted trip to the area of Larch felling (1600 in all) down by the motorway. What a change!!! It looks like some slash and burn area in the Amazon. However, it is to be replanted with native trees after the rhododendron has been removed. It should be great for birds and we may even get Tree Pipit back.

26th November 2014

Three Mottled Umbers and a Satellite - all but one were in bits outside the trap! Think I'll turn it off next week.

18th November 2014

The manure heap on Lymes Road has been spread over the fields and has left a scrape - exciting for Keele as we have nothing like it elsewhere - we await the rare birds dropping in! Meanwhile we had to be satisfied with 10+ Skylarks, 15+ Meadow Pipits , 10+ Pied Wagtails and c150 Stock Doves.

11th November 2014

I suppose that with a Winter Moth and 4 December Moths in the trap it must be winter, though you wouldn't know that from the weather!

5th November 2014

End of the season nears with a December Moth in the trap. Mind you, I did see a Comma butterfly flying this morning.

21st October 2014

At last - a Red Sword-grass! A new moth for Keele and for me too - although I have seen other people's. Also Blair's Shoulder-knot, 4/5 Red-green Carpets, 2 Chestnuts, 2 Angleshades, 2 Yellow-line Quakers and a Feathered Thorn. Not bad given the howling gale!

Blair's Shoulder-knot

Red Sword-grass

15th October 2014

Our Year 3 Bioconservation Students were trapping small mammals in the Walled Garden. They were surprisingly successful with 3 Bank Voles and 7 Field Voles. The evening before, when setting the traps, they noticed a number of bats circling the moth trap! The traps a filled with straw bedding and food so the mammals are comfortable until they weighed and released unharmed the next morning.

Preparing to weigh a Field Vole prior to release

Longworth mammal traps - there's food and bedding inside

Field Vole

Field Vole

Emptying a mammal trap