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MSc volunteers go batty for bird boxes

June 5, 2009
Last week ‘the three musketeers’ expanded into ‘the four musketeers’ with the addition of more international aid from Bournemouth University.  Now we introduce to the team…..Sarah, representing Florida, the US of A.  Steve happy with his growing team, decided that a trip out to Brownsea, Bat Hunting, would provide a new experience, and possibly dampen their overly eager and humerous spirits.
The first bat that we identified
The first bat that we woke up and identified

 

The newest member of the team.....Sarah

The newest member of the team.....Sarah

 

Tuesday 26 May

After a reported sighting of a rare bat on the island, we thought we should check it out. The plan was to see if any of the bat boxes were being used and try to identify any bats inside.  Steve was nominated to take on the BT mechanic role and climb the ladders to check the boxes.  If you look closely at this photo, you may well see the number 700 on the top, that kind of shows what a busy day we had!  

Steve takes a crack at a new role with BT

Steve takes a crack at a new role with BT

 However, this box brought tears to our eyes as Steve opened it up and gave out such a pleasing wail….”oooooooooh” said Steve, as he coaxed out the little bat, using his special white gloves, natural charm and talent!

"Oooooooooohhhhh, it's a boy!"

"Oooooooooohhhhh, it's a boy!"

After scouring the island and walking several miles (that’s what it felt like anyway!) we came across only three bats and unfortunately, no rare species.  Although we didn’t see exactly what we wanted to, it was really good to see bats up close and personal, and learn a bit about their anatomy and behaviour from the Trust staff.  Plus it was nice and sheltered on the island, so a good excuse to get out of the colder, windy weather we suffered early last week!
Thursday 28th May
We spent the whole of Wednesday preparing for Thursday getting a mass of bird box kits ready.
Poole family funday, Upton Heath

Poole family funday, Upton Heath

A nice warmy and sunny start to Thursday got us all ready and in the mood to make the numerous bird boxes we had already prepared the previous day.  Fortunately, the weather also enticed a fair sized crowd to Poole’s Family Funday event at Upton Heath.  Families from the local area came along to have a look at some of the organisations and people who live to protect the heath and its resources, with displays from local skilled crafts people and a bird display.
Meanwhile we helped out children to make a bird box that they could either keep and take home, or leave with the Trust to be hung in and around the woodlands.  Despite the biting bugs around us all day, the event was highly successful and enjoyable.
After the crowds had reduced, and we completely ran out of bird boxes, Amanda and Nigel decided to treat us to a little walk on the heath.  Whilst out and about we saw Adder, Smooth Snakes and Slow Worms, then were shown the impressive, carniverous Sundew, so next time your out and about on the heath….watch out! 
Damsel in distress

Damsel in distress

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