Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Dormouse at Freeholders Wood

Have you ever seen a live doormouse?

Here is an Adult Dormouse
I hadn't until this Saturday.

Should I go on the Craven Conservation Group to Aysgarth falls, 30 miles away? Should I?  Shouldn't I? Should I Shouldn't I?

Eventually I went and (as on all CCG outings) I was so glad I did.

As well as seeing REAL dormice,  I saw two other features of great natural history interest (to be dealt with lower down.. and had nice views of the falls, learned about dormice and enjoyed meeting friends.

Paul Sheehan, YDNPA Ranger for Wensleydale
(centre, beside tree)
explains about coppicing the hazel.

There were actually two groups
 - a joint meeting -
CCG and   Wharfedale Naturalists

They put out a lot of nesting boxes.
This one turned out to have a mother and four babies in it.
"They may only stay in one nesting box for about
four days, and then move to another" he said 

This is a baby dormouse. There would only be
about six weeks left in which it would
have to grow a lot in order to have enough
fat and weight to survive the winter.

Examining a dormouse

And photographing it
Interesting  natural history feature number 1: We spotted a huge slug on a stone - pale yellow with long spots. It was a Leopard slug.  When I came home I discovered it is one for which  the OPAL web-site ask people to send in results.. Must do that when I have time

Leopard  Slug

This fence at the upper side of the field
near the Lower falls makes and interesting photo.
T and I climb to the top of the field
on the left because we see a dark green low
growing plant near the summit

Yes it is Rock-rose

Interesting natural history feature number 2:-  Pat spots a hazelnut - stuck to a hazel twig - but not growing from it..
Bells ring in my head..
It is Glue fungus.  
Here I photograph the twig I brought home - you can see some tiny scraps of litter that are stuck to the twig with this fungus.

Lower Aysgarth Falls

Another picture of the group

Why don't you join us at future CCG Meetings?

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