With the strange weather we have been having spring has been delayed this year much to the surprise of many plants and animals. However, the last few days have been feeling decidedly warmer, so much so that I have forgone the coate in favor of just a t-shirt. While the snow may have caused havoc on our roads it also provided a great medium for spotting mammal tracks and prints that otherwise often go unnoticed. Did you have any prints you were unable to identify – why not share them to our Facebook group and see if someone else can?
This is a great time of year to go out and do some mammal tracks and signs surveys – before the vegetation becomes too long and prohibitive. Hares are our defending territory and finding mates and water vole sings should be fairly easy to see, and if you’re luck you may even be able to see them feeding or swimming along the rivers.
Some general tips when out walking and looking for mammals:
When entering a new area e.g. after turning a corner into a field do so slowly and take time to scan the area. Start in the distance moving closer, this way you are more likely to see species in the distance before they get scared away.
Look for obvious signs first: tracks, droppings, burrows, dreys, mole hills etc. You can then concentrate on the harder to find signs e.g. hair.
Try to think like a mammal – how would you use the landscape, where would you feed and sleep etc.
Move quietly and slowly keeping all-round vigilance. Some species e.g. hare will wait until you look away before moving / running away.
Now for the less exciting bit… membership!
WMG membership is up for renewal on 1st April. Our prefered method is for you to set up a standing order to pay on 1st April every year,thank you to everyone who has already done this, as it makes it so much easier for us to administer.
Our bank details are as follows:
Co-operative Bank, P.O. Box 250, Delf House, Southway, Skelmersdale WN8 6WT
Sort code: 08-92-99
Account number: 65258169
Membership is held at £10 and is vital for us to be able to conduct much of the work we do and provide insurance for you!
All the best and happy mammal searching.
P.S. Don;t forget to send those records in!