Winter Mammal Update

With the help of the Black Country & Staffordshire Naturalists group, I’ve been continuing to monitor the mammals on our local nature reserves, including bats and badgers. As you’ll know if you’re a regular on here, we give each of our badger setts fictitious names in order to protect them and keep their location a secret. We’ve been giving special attention this winter to the Hogsmeade badgers, as they appear to have been particularly active, but we don’t seem to be able to be in the right place at the right time to catch them on camera. After a few problems with my trailcams (not entirely sure what is going on, as the problem persists intermittently) we finally managed to get an evening’s worth of footage, including the return of a one-eyed fox (whom we have called Mad-Eye Moody), an extremely hyperactive mouse and a couple of fat badgers…

In addition to trailcam setting, we’ve been out and about with the endoscope, looking for hibernating bats. Last week we found this hibernating Brown Long Eared bat in a tearaway cavity in a tree in Merrions Wood.

We returned to Merrions Wood today to clean out the nests left behind by feathered squatters this summer, and to our surprise found five noctules – one in one box and four in another. They have been left in peace, but we did shoot a bit of sneaky endoscope footage of the first one, which you can see below.

It really is great news that noctules are using our bat boxes, as until now we only had confirmed use by Brown Long Eared and Soprano Pipistrelles. Here’s the endoscope footage:

The next plan is to move onto our Sunnydale badger sett to see how our badgers there are faring, which will happen later this month.


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