After the bumper crop of plump dormice in October, I was looking forward to seeing if they would still be around in November. My first attempt had to be abandoned at the last minute due to rain. Things didn’t look much better for my final opportunity of the month, as the rain started just as I left home. But we banked on it being dryer under the trees, and had a brolly to keep any dormice we found dry.
There were plenty of nests to check, so it took quite a while. We did find a couple of woodmice (only the second time this year we’ve found them at this site). But no dormice – they’re probably hibernating already, despite the mild autumn we’ve had so far.
As the dormousing year comes to an end, and the dusters get a good wash, it’s time to reflect on my first year with my own site. It was quiet for the first few months, but by the end there were nests in nearly every section of the site we have boxes in. This is very encouraging, and I hope to get another 11 boxes up in time for next season (bringing the site up to the standard 50 boxes). It’s sometimes been hard to get volunteers – I don’t know if that’s due to the location or just that everyone knows which sites have the most dormice.
I was quite nervous being in charge to start with, but seem to have got my confidence up now. I have really enjoyed watching the site change with the seasons, and look forward to getting to know it even better next year.