This blog is about all forms of wildlife I record around North Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes in particular. My main interests for 2012 will be looking for anything I've not seen before.

Saturday, January 15

College Lake Friday not birding and too early for batting?

Friday evening saw my first (purposeful) 'mammal in headlights' drive of the year with a trip to mid Bucks and College Lake. The reason for the trip was the North Bucks Bat Group had very luckily secured Patty and Brian Briggs to come and talk to us about British Bat Identification. Patty and Brian are 'Bat Royalty' and there knowledge and passion is second to none. Brian first went through all the main ID features to separate our 17 or so species, he made it so clear and simple that I hope I've taken it all in! Then, we split into groups and took turns to identify (stuffed) bat specimens using our skills and accompanying literature. It was the first time I'd ever seen a Greater Horse Bat and a Serotine (in the hand) and my they were impressive creatures. I'm looking forward to returning to Cheddar Gorge in May to reconnect with these two species, first encounter only last year with my Father, great memories.
As for 'bunnies in headlights' my only mammal encounters on the way down were two different Red Foxes not 100 yards apart on the grid roads near my estate at 7pm! On the return (with Badger in mind, or actually any deer as I've seen none yet) I only saw my 3rd Fox near Water Eaton in the bushes near the Stoke Hammond bypass. I couldn't even find the Barn Owl hunting along the main bypass towards Linslade. Oh well Barn Owl will have to wait.

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