• Bat boxes with a difference...

    This excellent little video from David Whyte at Professional Tree Climbing is well worth a share. Introducing the technique of tree veteranisation to create suitable bat roosing features in trees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqIs-4hUY-o&feature=youtu.be

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  • More bats in trees...

    Brilliant few days of tree climbing this week (if you forgive the persistent torrential rain showers) and with the added bonus of finding this pipistrelle in a rot hole feature of an old downy birch tree. Place your bets on species now... (DNA analysis confirmation to follow)

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  • New Kit for 2014

    Looking forward to trying out Titley Scientific's newest bat detector model, the Anabat Express, which arrived in the post over the weekend. Here's hoping it lives up to expectations...

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  • BBC News Article: Scottish pine marten recovery spreads south

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  • Red Squirrel Feeder Box Surveys (Spring 2014)

    As a volunteer for the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels project I've been out monitoring my red squirrel feeder boxes again this spring, carrying out fortnightly visits to deploy peanuts and collect the sticky tabs (hopefully laden with squirrel hairs) for analysis under the microscope. Four visits to each box (four boxes in total within a 2km quadrant) are carried out over an eight week survey period, in which hairs collected from individiual boxes are used to map the presence or absence of red squirrels in that woodland area. Results are compared against those of previous years to highlight any changes in their distribution. Where grey squirrel hairs are encountered, results are used to inform local landowners where trapping should be prioritsed, in the hope that these areas can then be made available for the native reds to repopulate.

    Not only are there red squirrels visiting one particular box within the quadrant (photographed) I'm convinced it has also been visited by another slightly larger peanut loving creature. Specifically, one which is responsible for chewing up the outside of the box, pulling the glass front out and doing away with the sticky tabs. I strongly suspect a pine marten to be the culprit in this case and in an attempt to catch it in action, I have climbed the tree and set a camera trap to record any movement at the box. Here's hoping for some interesting footage! Watch this space and I'll keep you posted...

    To find out more about the Red Squirrel Project in Tayside and throughout Scotland, visit the Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels webpage at: http://www.scottishsquirrels.org.uk

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