Learning from each other

On Thursday night team Ecology took Paul (the director) out on a great crested newt (GCN) survey with them. Paul had been asking for a while about helping out with a survey and learning a little more about what the ecologists do when on site! So he donned his wellies and life jacket and helped them out on a site near Tamworth. It was a lovely evening, dry, warm and fairly still and they showed him all the ins and outs of a GCN survey.

The survey started with setting bottle traps, and egg searching for newt eggs. Luckily the ecologists knew this site had populations of GCN and they were known to be breeding there so it was easy enough to find some GCN eggs quickly. There was a brief deviation from GCN whilst waiting for it to get dark when they switched on the bat detectors. Fortunately there were noctules and soprano pipistrelles flying around and echolocating fantastically to show Paul the delights of the bat surveying world too. Once it was dark enough to be able to carry on with the GCN surveys, they carried out a third survey method which was torching. There were a sufficient amount of GCN swimming around in the two ponds for Paul to be able to see both male and female GCN, as well as a number of smooth newts too!