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.
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.
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!
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|
|Emptying a mammal trap|