Last Friday a small group of us went out with Stuart Edmunds, who is the chairman of the Shropshire Mammal Group, to carry out a dormouse nest box survey; Stuart is the only person who can do this as a licence is required to disturb dormice. This time last year, out of the 40 boxes which we have across the Edge, Stuart found 5 dormice in the boxes and 2 nests were present in others - this was the most we had ever had at Wenlock Edge.
|Stuart checking one of the boxes|
Unfortunately, due to unsettled weather over the past months, and poor weather conditions on the day, we didn't see any dormice on this occasion. There was torrential rain for most of the day when we were carrying out the survey; dormice are not foolish and in this sort of weather they will tuck themselves into holes underground. We will survey the dormice again in October and hopefully we will get a more accurate idea of numbers.
|Trying to get an opportunist photo of a dormouse!|
|Blocking the nest box hole before opening the lid|
Even though we left a little disappointed not to have seen a dormouse it was still important to check all the boxes and carry out repairs to broken boxes. We also saw a few baby blue tits nesting in boxes, which put a smile on our faces despite the weather; we hope they all fledge successfully.
|Cute baby blue tits nesting|