Harry Green

Records are flowing in well but we still need more! We need a lot more! Please look again at the maps in the previous issues of Worcestershire Record and you will see there are still many gaps in recording, especially since 2000.

Another recording form is enclosed with this issue. Please try to note down those road casualties you see every day - rabbits, foxes, badgers etc. And when you are out for walks in the countryside look out for signs - active mole hills are easily see in winter. We know that muntjac probably now occur in most of the county's woods but we have not got records, and its easy to see their small footprints in muddy ground. All three deer species appear to be increasing and spreading so it is especially important that we try to record the changing situation. And what does the cat bring in? We'd like to see! If you come across owl or hawk pellets please send them into John Meiklejohn at the office - small rodents can be identified by the teeth and jaws which are often found in pellets, and we are of course short of records of small rodents. Have you got rats? If so please tell us!

Those of you who attended the Annual Meeting in March will (we hope and expect!) have been inspired by Phil Richardson's excellent lecture on bats and now have the urge to get out there and collect records. To encourage you we print the current bat distribution maps for the county. Even though some species are now scarce the maps show a severe shortage of records of the commoner species. The marked clustering of pipistrelle records in the Kidderminster area reflects the efforts of Shaun Micklewright who has been driving around the lanes with a bat detector by the open car window! If you do find bats and are not sure what they are or what to do next please contact the Bat Group through Ed Leszczynski during office hours at the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust 01905 754919.

Lesser Horseshoe bats are scarce in Worcestershire. A few winter and summer roosts are known but a lot more information is needed. If you find bats hanging up in a roof space, cellar or tunnel, looking like dark plums please contact us as soon as possible. During April I received a phone call report of a "bat on a wall" in broad daylight in Elmley Castle. It turned out to be a lesser horseshoe bat. Unfortunately it died and was very light in weight suggesting that it had emerged from hibernation in warm weather, possibly moved to its breeding area and had then starved when colder weather banished insect food. It is an exciting record because to date we have no records of this bat around Bredon Hill and there may be an unrecorded breeding colony waiting to be discovered.

If you would like to learn more the Mammal Society have produced an excellent guide: How to Find and Identify Mammals by Gillie Sargent & Pat Morris, ISBN 0 906 282 34 9. Their address is 15 Cloisters House, 8 Battersea Park Road, London, SW8 4BG.

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