Archive for December 8th, 2009

8th December 2009, Tuesday

Doleham again


I took a telescope down this morning to see if I could count the ducks more easily. I couldn’t, and there are fewer, but still hundreds, plus a pair of Canada Geese and a single Little Grebe.

The scope did come in useful, however, when a Water Pipit landed briefly, allowing me a rare view of its bright supercilium and rather plain back.

A m Marsh Harrier was quartering the reeds again, a flock of 16 Lesser Redpolls twittered overhead and in the sunny treetops a karaoke Starling whistled “Green Sandpiper”.

8th December 2009, Tuesday

The consultant, the newt trap and the water shrew

Because great crested newts are a protected species developers are required to undertake surveys of ponds before proposing development on or near them.  The intention is to determine if this amphibian is present, and then recommend mitigation to prevent damage to the newt population.  The survey is usually undertaken by an independent ecological consultant holding a licence to disturb newts.  Natural England, who are responsible for licensing such work, require that effective survey methods are used to determine if newts are likely to be present. 

One of the best ways to confirm if newts are present in a pond is the bottle trap, made by cutting off the cone top of a squash bottle and inverting it into the bottom half of the bottle.  All very Heath-Robinson, but a surprisingly effective way of determining the presence of this species, so much so that if you do not use traps you will be asked to justify their ommision when your report is delivered.

So far so good, but there is a problem Read the rest of this entry »