June 2012

26th - I haven't written a blog entry for over a month. A combination of marking exams, teaching a field course, dealing with family stuff and the awful weather (our blue tit nest lost 6 ca.10-day old chicks on one day of constant rain, and the long-tailed tits gave up a while ago) has meant that the camera has been dormant. On the field course at Orielton between 11-18 June I did manage to see 2 otters at Bosherston Lily Ponds, 4 puffins at Stackpole Head, a family of choughs at Stack Rocks, and the usual guillemots, razorbills, Manx shearwaters, gannets, and fulmars. A photo of some lesser horseshoe bats below. There are now 175 in the boiler room roost, and about 350 soprano pipistrelles at the warden's house, though none of these were lactating yet (they usually are when we catch at this time of year, but the bad weather has clearly delayed parturition). While we were at Pembroke news broke of a grey long-eared bat being found close by (identified from DNA in droppings), very distant from other records of this bat which was thought to be restricted to southern England. Interestingly, my PhD student Orly Razgour predicted that the habitat should be suitable for this species by in south-west Wales by using habitat suitability modelling. A BBC News web site piece about the finding is here and more information can be found here.

lesser horseshoe bats

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