Welcome to the Lancashire Mammal Group
Established in 2010 the Lancashire Mammal Group aims to raise awareness of mammal species in the Lancashire, Greater Manchester and North Merseyside region.
At the beginning of July, a number of us were at Lancashire Wildlife Trusts Brockholes reserve for two sessions of small mammal trapping. We set about 80 traps out in the early afternoon mainly along the Guild Wheel section of the reserve. At seven thirty that evening we checked them and then re-set them. It had to be a brisk visit so that we didn’t get locked in the car park after nine pm. We caught a few wood mice and a single vole. Sadly we also found a dead mole on the cycle track. It did not have any injuries so the reason for its demise remains a mystery. The following morning at about eight we checked and emptied them all again. It had been a damp night and we managed to find several slugs and about four toads in our traps. We did catch a few wood mice, more bank voles and a couple of common shrews. Slugs do leave a mess so we had to give our traps an extra special clean-out on our return home.
Early in 2015 we were invited to take part in a live radio broadcast from Leighton Moss RSPB reserve. It was in the dark, starting at seven pm and ending at nine pm. Apart from the RSPB, there were folks from Lancashire Badger Group, North Lancs Bat Group, a family that were involved in the Big Garden Birdwatch and ourselves. It was a very cold night but gave us the opportunity of sharing our passion for mammals and their conservation.
July 25 to August 1st we helped with the National Whale and Dolphin Watch. Meeting under the Giant Mirror Ball we arrived at 10.00 am and set up our telescope. The staff from the Solaris Centre had theirs too and using our binoculars we scanned the sea for any signs. Once we saw something we were able to focus in using the telescopes. Several members of the public turned up during the morning and we were able to talk to them about the marine mammals that can be seen from this shore. We had folk from Blackpool, Glasgow, Stirling, Birmingham and even from Eritrea. The latter were staying on holiday in central London It was a sunny day without any wind giving a calm sea.This enabled us to see a number of grey seals, one of which was quite close to the beach. We only stayed for two hours but felt it worthwhile. We do plan to do this again next year so keep your eyes on our Facebook page and here on the website. Our thanks to Dave McGrath for his invaluable help on that day.
I normally have to go to either Cardigan Bay or the Moray Firth to obtain good views of dolphins. Seeing any in the Irish sea from Lancashire is a very rare occurrence according to the Seawatch Foundation. We had a brief visit from a group at the end of June of this year much closer to home. They had been spotted off Blackpool beach in the Irish Sea. Another group of about 100 were observed in the Mersey Estuary. Seeing any in winter is an even rarer experience. It was a delight to hear of a pod of 20 or so in Liverpool Bay. They were reported by ship workers on Christmas Eve who took some photos on their smart phones. The dolphin group were playing in the water fairly close to the ships on which the men were working. The photos here are from my collection but not of those particular dolphins