This time of year, an insect pest called a leaf roller is causing brown spots on leaves. I have observed birds feeding on these so I started paying attention. Then, on a dog wood tree, while looking for brown leaves I found what appeared to be a brown leaf. I looked closely and it was not a leaf at all. It was a red bat. Red bats roost in trees and are one of our most common bats. If you are lucky to find one do not disturb it but enjoy it from a far.
Started the mammals camp program with a nice display of specimens of native and naturalized animals found in our park. Picutred here are Eastern Coyote, Red and Gray foxes, Fawn (white tail deer) Meadow vole, shrew, chipmonk, white footed mouse, deer mouse, mole, brown bat and more.
Below: Kids check their sherman traps set the day before. As part of their camp experience the participants are given the opprotunity to capture live mammals- typically a variety of small rodents.
Below: We have a successful capture!! A sherman trap is carefully inspected for its contents.
The next step is to transfer the rodent into a pillow case so that it can be carefully manipulated for observation.
The best method is to grab the animal from the back just behind he neck and head but in such a manner as to not cause more stress to the animal. This trap produced a white footed mouse.
(photo by Tony Bulmer and Jim Dewinig Fairfax County Park Authority)
Fairfax County Naturalist discovers these and other mammal traffic indicators along a stream in Sully Woodlands.
This unforutnate deer was discovered caught between the fence post nearBalmoral (Compton Road) in Novemeber 2009.
Spotted this Red fox foraging for food just west of town. This fox was trotting down the base of a steep hill where it borders a pond on the north side of the rr tracks. From a distance I could see fence lizards scurrying for cover as the fox approached the fallen tree