MAMMAL, REPTILE AND AMPHIBIA REPORT
A reasonable year for the submission of records, the majority of which concentrated on the more exciting species such as Fox and Roe Deer. Please continue to submit records of all mammals, reptiles and amphibians seen in our area as they might be vital at some point in the future.
Many thanks to all those who submitted records.
Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)
Road deaths continue to be the main population indicator for this species, which, judging from counts by the recorder is still common in the area.
Records were received from Rivington, Adlington, Brindle, Brinscall and Clayton Brook, about half of which were daytime sightings. Is this a change in behaviour of an animal which is normally nocturnal or something more sinister?
Common Shrew (Sorex araneus castaneus)
One was found dead in front of a member's house in Coppull on 6th April, and on 8th July the same member had one feeding from his ground bait while fishing at Birkacre. Two sightings were received from Stoats Hall Bretherton - one on 18th August and two on 2nd September. Finally, one was found dead at Hoghton Bottoms on 17th October.
Mole (Talpa europaea)
Judging by the visible evidence of mole hills, it is still common and widespread throughout the area.
Daubentons Bat (Myotis daubentoni)
The species was present in a shippon in Heather Lea Woods, Brinscall in March. It was also seen flying at Pincroft, Adlington on 11th August and recorded by use of a Bat detector at Cuerden Park on 14th August.
Pipistrelle Bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)
Our best record was of twelve animals counted emerging from a nursery roost at Dick Lane, Brinscall on 2nd May. The roost was vacated on 14th July.
Other records were of 'ones or twos' seen at Pincroft, Adlington, Cuerden and Astley Village in August, Belmont (first on 30th March), Rivington (March to September), Chorley (April to October) and Euxton (most months).
Noctule Bat (Nyctalus noctula)
Our only record for the year was of a single animal seen at Birkacre on 6th October
Whiskered Bat (Myotis mystacinus)
Recorded by bat detector in Cuerden Park on 14th August.
Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus occidentalis)
Seen in small numbers in most months of the year - recorded at Anglezarke, Belmont, Bretherton, Brindle, Rivington, Lead Mines Clough, Withnell Fold and Brinscall (up to six).
Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
Widespread but thinly populated in most districts, we now have only two or three large warrens in our recording area which seem to be maintaining a stable population.
Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
Common in all wooded areas, parks and gardens right up to the outskirts of the town centre. Records were received from all areas for all months of the year.
Water Vole (Arvicola amphibus amphibus)
Individuals were seen on the River Douglas (off Grimeford Lane, Anderton) on 3rd May, on the canal spur at Whittle on 7th and 16th May, and at Birkacre on 5th July. Two were watched 'on and off' all day at Stoats Hall fish ponds, Bretherton on 2nd September.
Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus)
Only one record of three seen at Birkacre on 19th December.
Long-tailed Field Mouse / Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus sylvaticus)
Present all year in a garden and garage in Euxton. Individuals were also noted feeding below bird tables in gardens in Chorley. A dead animal was found at Hoghton Bottoms on 17th October. These represented the only records of what must be a fairly common species.
Stoat (Mustela erminea stabilis)
A Stoat in ermine was seen at Belmont on 21st January and another in partial ermine on 21st February. A single animal was seen in a field near Eyes Lane Bretherton on 25th July, and another was watched grooming for at least five minutes by the same observer on 2nd September.
Weasel (Mustela nivalis nivalis)
Ten sightings this year. The first was of two at Belmont on 27th February and the last was near to Hall Barn, Rivington on 8th November. Other records were received from Adlington, Birkacre, Brinscall, Duxbury, Hic Bibi and Lower Rivington reservoir. An adult with four juveniles was seen crossing the road at Belmont on 5th September.
American Mink (mustela vison)
Animals were trapped in April, August and September to prevent colonisation of Belmont.
Fox (Vulpes vulpes crucigera)
Another good year for records - 15 sightings- all of individual animals in both suburban and rural locations spread around the recording area. In addition two active earths at Belmont had remains of lambs, pheasants and a pigeon, and lambs, pheasants, mallard and a teal outside them.
Fallow Deer (Dama dama)
A female present at Belmont throughout was joined by a male from September to November.
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus)
Reports included one of an animal at the edge of Anglezarke reservoir on 25th July, and another of an animal seen on the same day in the Abyssinia area.
Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus thotti)
Well recorded but thinly distributed, maintaining its presence at its traditional locations on the east side of Chorley. The best count from Belmont was three on 29th December.
REPTILES AND AMPHIBIA
Common Lizard (Lacerta vivipara)
Only three records from two locations:-
Great Crested Newt (Triturus palustris palustris)
Known to be breeding in ponds at Cuerden Park and Burgh Lane, Chorley.
Toad (Bufo bufo bufo)
Spawn and 'hundreds' of young at Birkacre (April-July).
Common Frog (Rana temporaria temporaria)
Our earliest records were of mating in garden ponds at Brinscall and Euxton on 16th February, with spawn seen on 26th February and tadpoles on 28th March. All suitable ponds around Belmont had large numbers spawning in March. Other records were received from Cuerden Park, Birkacre and Adlington in March and April, and present all year round in gardens at Adlington and Astley Village.
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