Saturday, 28 August 2010

Goswell Brook (Study Centre) incidental highlights

A days volunteering activity with Hampshire Conservation Volunteers at Goswell Brooks (New Forest Tree Study Centre) constructing pathworks also gave some opportunity for exploring the local wildlife.

Highlights on the day:

♂ small red damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum) which alighted on the picnic table during the morning's first squash break.

A mid day sojourn to check the tins for reptiles in which three out of seven tins were productive: one tin producing singles of common lizard (Lacerta vivipara), a large ♀ slow worm (Anguis fragilis) and a grass snake (Natrix natrix). The second tin produced a single common lizard - disturbed from basking on top, the third another grass snake.

Birding wise a 3J robin (Erithacus rubecula) was very confiding taking the opportunity to feed around the aggregate stash  as we filled wheelbarrows, disturbing the ground and revealing tasty morsels for it. An ad. robin had done similar recently at Minstead Study Centre - picking its way through the disturbed soil beside us as we dug 4.5 ft holes to sink deer fence straining posts.

Singles of grey heron (Ardea cinerea) and ♀ mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) on the pond, and up to three buzzard (Buteo buteo) provided the rest of the interest.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

hazel dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius L.) survey Nr Haslemere, Surrey

From top to bottom: nest box in situ; lactating ♀ dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) weighing 23g with "pinkies" in nest box; prob. woodmice (Apodemus sylvaticus) nest + survey methodology; checking out a dormice nest; ♂ dormouse weighing 16g; yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis); nesting tube (empty).

Thursday, 12 August 2010

garden 'shrooms

Consistently mesmerised by the sunflowers (Helianthus sp), I only noticed the appearance of new fungi buds in the garden this evening - and by the look of them they have been pushing through the last couple of days.

The fairy-ring toadstool (Marasmius oreades) is showing two months ahead of last year's garden record see:

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

garden birding and elsewhere

A single ad. robin (Erithacus rubecula) in the garden this morning. The first of the autumn. ♂ and ♀ blackbird (Turdus merula) also present, although lacking bins at the time I could not confirm if this was the local breeding pair returning after several weeks absence or completely different birds?

On the work patch I was surprised to see a fledgling blackbird, standing stock still on the pavement with its back against a very high garden wall. Having passed it twice in half an hour in the same exposed situation - I broke all the rules and lifted the bird back up onto the high wall where it could receive some cover from over-hanging foliage.  It settled well and later I could hear it responding to an ad. bird calling from further up the street.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Loe Bar migrant waders

From the top: sanderling (Calidris alba); sanderling; ringed plover Juv. (Charadrius hiaticula); dunlin (Calidris alpina) and sanderling; sanderling and ringed plover.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Glis glis nest box survey Nr Berkhamsted, Bucks

From top: removing nest boxes; 9 ♂♂ from one box! ; Going in! ; ♂ Glis glis with radio tracking device fitted for hibernation survey (device removed on day); fitting an electronic tagging device; "pinkies" in a nest box; "pinkies" in the hand.