At last, a beautiful spring morning to get out and about, when I didn't have other priorities getting in the way! At Rodden Nature Reserve where I help with the management, we have started a systematic small mammal survey with the aid of traps. The traps are set with grass and food and left overnight around the Reserve. This morning several of us went early to check the traps. More about that later. I decided to get down there 1/2 an hour early to see what else was about.
I had a good start with my first Willow Warbler of the year. They're not the most exciting looking birds, but hearing their beautiful cascading song was a real treat this morning.
In this last shot below, you can see it's pale legs which is one of the ways to distinguish it from the similar Chiffchaff. Mind you, there's not problem telling them apart when they're singing as their songs are completely different.
As I walked around I noticed a pair of Canada Geese quietly swimming on the misty lake. It was a beautifully serene scene.
The early morning sun showed up the beauty of the grasses
When the others joined me, we set out to check the traps. We have 12 at present. 6 of these were occupied. We had 5 Wood Mice (as seen below). Sorry about the quality of the photo, but they move soooooo quick!
It seemed like we were only going to find Wood Mice this morning, but the last trap had this lovely Short-tailed Field Vole.
Yesterday evening, while resetting the traps, we were lucky to see this early Bat come out to hunt over the lake. It is more than likely a Daubenton's Bat as they are known to hunt low over water. It was nearly dusk, so the photos are far from good, in fact, I put this first one in because I thought it looked .....er......interesting! (-:
As you can see, it was hunting very close to the water. As we were watching it, the Bat crashed into the lake and tried a few times to fly up without success (I didn't take any photos unfortunately). I thought we were going to watch it drown, but with heroic heaves, it started swimming (with butterfly like strokes) towards our floating island. It did manage to reach the island and disppeared into the foliage to dry off hopefully!
I can only imagine that it had just woken from hibernation and was feeling a bit dopey! I know how it feels! (-:
It was certainly a dramatic end to the evening!