The guys at Dorset Wildlife Trust, Steve Davis and Amanda Cooke, are running two more events for Nature Watch Corfe Mullen this weekend. The first was tonight. The aim? To hear bats, to set some humane small mammal traps (to be opened tomorrow morning) and set up the moth trap. So where did this little chap come from? Read on…
OK Steve you can put me down now!
We arrived at the Corfe Mullen Meadows Nature Reserve at five in the afternoon. Steve and Amanda had brought along about 30 small mammal traps, and we set about baiting them with bird seed and casters (these hatch into bluebottles) and adding some comfy bedding (a little home from home for any trapped furry creature that ventured inside!).
The little traps waiting to be put out
Next we had to place them around the Meadow. It’s not a massive meadow, so it didn’t take us long. Walking around trying to find “runs” where mammals had been running up and down in the grass and placing the traps carefully in “mid-run”.
In the perfect position – we hope…
A piece of bright orange tape tied above the trap… makes it easier to find them in the morning.
Tie an orange ribbon round the old brackeney-sticky-thing – we should see that!
By now it was 6.30pm and over 29 kids and adults had started to arrive (OK, it was 30 people in total… that’s over 29!). Steve did a short talk about what we would be doing during the evening, and then we started to set up the moth trap.
Steve sets up the moth trap – we all makes sure he does it properly!
It was now getting dark, so we wandered around the Meadow with bat detectors at the ready, trying to find any passing bats echolocation calls. Not many bats out tonight, unfortunately, but we were lucky enough to hear a few tick-tick-ticking away on the detector.
After listening to the bats, chatting and stamping up and down to get warm, most people started to go home. Those of us that were left decided to check on a few of the small mammal traps. Surely there wouldn’t be mammals inside them already? Especially with us lot stomping round the Meadow like a herd of elephants?
I just had to show this picture again!
Well as you can see I was wrong. Two traps had occupants already. This is one of them. A rather undignified position for any self-respecting woodmouse but I assure you no mouse was harmed in the making of this post!
The sign welcoming you to Corfe Mullen Meadows
take a look in the Spring when the Meadow is full of orchids!
Thanks again to the guys at Dorset Wildlife Trust for making it such an eventful evening… I can’t wait for tomorrow!
Nature Watch Corfe Mullen