News & Views

In February 2013 Owain Gabb from our Swansea Office, a licensed bird ringer on behalf of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and a member of Gower Ringing Group, began ringing birds at Oxwich Marsh, on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales.
In 2012 BSG Ecology completed a pilot bat migration study at Dungeness, Kent.  A bat detector was deployed at the Dungeness Bird Observatory to establish whether seasonal patterns of bat activity potentially indicative of migration were apparent.  The results were interesting, with increased activity noted in Nathusius’ pipistrelle in spring and autumn.  This species is known to be migrating within continental Europe at these times of year.
BSG Ecology is delighted to announce that our collaborative work with LDA Design (as lead consultant) on the Network Rail National Lineside Vegetation Management Strategy has won the Strategic Landscape Planning section of the Landscape Institute Awards 2013.
Last night Laura Grant from  BSG Ecology’s Oxford office gave a talk entitled “An  Introduction to Bat Migration” to members of the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory.
Between August and November 2013 BSG Ecology deployed a static bat detector at Spurn Lighthouse, East Yorkshire.  The aim of this was to identify if there were pulses of bat activity recorded might suggest bat migration.
Since 2008 Hannah Bilston, Principal Ecologist, has been monitoring bat populations in Finemere Wood, an ancient woodland in Buckinghamshire. The project was initiated by the North Bucks Bat Group (NBBG) in 2003 and formed the study site for Hannah’s MSc research into factors affecting bat box selection within Finemere Wood between 2009 and 2011.
In August 2013, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) released revised bird survey guidance for onshore wind farms.  This represents the first substantial revision of guidance that was first formally issued in late 2005 (minor revisions / amendments were made in 2010).  SNH has led the way on this topic in UK terms, and understanding changes in the SNH guidance is therefore very important, as they will be reflected in consultee expectations with regard to survey work throughout the UK.
All over the country long strips of plastic fencing are now a common sight – a sign that an increasing number of ecologists and contractors are instigating great crested newt mitigation schemes. Sound ecological knowledge and evidence-based application of this should inform how professional ecologists go about their business, and underpinning this is their proper training and development.
In recognition of the growing importance of brownfield (or ‘open mosaic habitat’) for invertebrates, BSG Ecology is delighted to announce that it is working closely with Buglife - the Invertebrate Conservation Trust – through the joint funding and development of research into restoration and habitat creation techniques for brownfield sites.
In 2007 Ahlén et al published an account of bats (both non-migratory and migratory species) foraging over the Baltic Sea at an off-shore wind farm in southern Scandinavia. That study and previous reports of bats being found on platforms in the North Sea (e.g. Russ, 2001, Boshamer & Bekker, 2008) have stimulated discussion about the extent to which bats cross or fly out over the sea on migration or to forage.