Hazel Dormouse: Jack in the Box

The last time we wrote about the hazel dormouse was this time last year, just as the UK ecology season was drawing to a close. You can check out that post here. Now, we’re at that time again and we’re not quite sure where the year has gone. In fact, we’ve just made our annual…

Sharing a Shower with a Pseudoscorpion

After a long night of both dusk and dawn bat surveys, being home and about to hop in a hot shower was just what I had been wanting.  I had not long put down my prescription glasses when I noticed a dark speck on the white grouting between the tiles that make up the walls…

Reproductive Mimicry & the Bee Orchid

A Morning Stroll After a dawn bat survey at the end of May this year, we stopped by Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve for a stroll. The early morning is a wonderful time to watch wildlife with the dawn light bringing out the best in the landscape. We had gone there to see the birds, but…

Fantastic Mr. Fox

At the Bottom of the Garden Although Emma and I enjoy going on the hunt to find wildlife, sometimes wildlife just comes to us. In a previous blog post we shared our experience of finding a green woodpecker at the bottom of the garden and then a later experience meeting his family (see here and here). Our…

The Hazel Dormouse AKA ”The Sleepy One”

Oh, To Sleep! With the number of dusk and dawn bat surveys we’ve undertaken this season approaching 200 between us, it is refreshing to survey dormice once in a while. It seems especially fitting as we have come to identify with the etymology of the word ‘dormouse’ which some sources reckon comes from the Old…

Red Squirrels on Brownsea Island

For some time now, we’ve been meaning to visit the remnant population of native red squirrels on Brownsea Island here in England. Last week, the opportunity finally arrived when a number of bat surveys came up in Poole, the town’s harbour in which Brownsea Island is located. Getting to Brownsea Island During the day between…

Putting a Face to a Sound: The Speckled Bush-cricket

That doesn’t sound like a bat… The majority of our paid work in the UK, especially as of late, is to carry out bat surveys. This involves turning up to a site just before dusk or dawn and listening out for bat echolocations using a special piece of equipment, a bat detector. Bats found in…

Our Local Green Woodpecker Family

We have had the builders in putting up an extension to the house since our last post about our resident female Green Woodpecker.  As a result of the building works, we haven’t been able to get into the garden as much as we would normally. We haven’t even been able to hear the ‘yaffling’ of…

Ruby-tailed Wasp: Beautiful, But Deadly*

After a 4-hour drive home after a few days away, we finally pulled onto the drive.  With a sigh and a conscious mustering of energy, I attempted to swing myself from the car. Emma, sat in the passenger seat, suddenly pointed out of the window at the front wall of the house and said, ‘ruby-tailed wasp!’ I was…

Gotta Count ’em All – Butterfly Bonanza

Over the past few weeks, we have been getting out and doing some volunteering.  Being self-employed ecologists racing across the globe back and forth from NZ to the UK and the UK to NZ, we spend a lot of our time chasing paid work. This doesn’t give us much time to volunteer. Saying that, if…

British Orchids in Bloom

What a heatwave we’ve been having here in the UK over last few days! All of this sunshine has meant plenty of time outdoors enjoying Britain’s wonderful flora and fauna. Our most recent wanderings took us along roadside verges in search of Britain’s native orchids. Who would have thought that these verges would be one…