The Start of the 2015 Longworth Trapping Season!

15th May marked the start of my personal Longworth Trapping season (Mid-May), so the logbook now has its first entry. I caught a Bank Vole at 4:45 this afternoon and weighed it. It was a whopping 25g, the heaviest since I started last year! I tried a new method of getting the vole into the weighing bag too. I kept the vole in the bedding compartment with all the grass taken out, then I put the bag over the open end of the compartment and tipped the vole gently into the bag. I didn’t even have to try to pick it up! Here are the photos from today:

Bank Vole in the weighing bag.

Bank Vole in the weighing bag.

Bank Vole in the bedding compartment.

Bank Vole in the bedding compartment.

I was doing pre-season trapping earlier in the year, but due to the cold weather catches were scarce. There were only 1 Wood Mouse and 2 Bank Voles, the Wood Mouse pictured here:

Wood Mouse caught pre-season.

Wood Mouse caught pre-season.

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Bees and Barberries: A Match Made in (Bee) Heaven!

We have a Barberry in our back garden which seems to be incredibly good for bees! I have recorded 9 bee species on it so far: Buff-tailed Bumblebee; White-tailed Bumblebee; Garden Bumblebee; Common Carder Bee; Tree Bumblebee; Early Bumblebee; Honey Bee; Yellow-legged Mining Bee and, my favourite, a Tawny Mining Bee just yesterday!

Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva)

Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva)

I have caught most of them (except the White-tailed Bumble and the Tawny Mining) in a specimen pot I have now christened my ‘bee pot’. I catch them by holding the lid and the pot of opposite sides of the flower, and bringing them closer together. As they get closer I tilt the pot slightly downwards so that when the bee notices that it’s about to be caught it flies down and into the pot. I then quickly close the lid and take a photo through the bottom, like so:

Yellow-legged Mining Bee (Andrena flavipes)

Yellow-legged Mining Bee (Andrena flavipes)