When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Taking shelter from the storm
After the rain came more rain!
This I feel was the time to stroll along a river just to see how wildlife is coping with floods.
The River Ribble at West Bradford was still running high but I could see that the strand line showed that the levels had been much higher.
The bird life was really spectacular with swallows and swifts everywhere but a heron was enjoying a hearty meal by gobbling up moles which had been washed out of their burrows. This really was food for free!
I started out in bright warm sunshine but within ten minutes everything had changed and suddenly I was running for cover as thunder and lightning struck with a vengeance.
I have never been so wet but the storm soon passed and my clothes were steaming as the hot sunshine came back. An impressive rainbow appeared and rumour has it that this means that it was not going to rain again!
This was proved wrong twenty minutes later as I got wet again.
A female goosender sailed by accompanied by five ducklings moving at high speed in the current. West Bradford Bridge is an ideal place to watch wildlife.
As I returned, wet through yet again, I saw 20 people including anglers and walkers sheltering under the bridge. I was not far away from my car and so along with the soggiest labrador I have ever seen, I set off for home and a warm fire.
I had to remind myself that this was July 2012!
the underground social life of the wood mouse
the wood mouse is also known as the long tailed field mouse and is one of our most common mammals.
Despite this it is not often seen because it is mainly nocturnal, it is very wary and soon runs for cover.
The survival of the young is said to be very low but the females produce so many young that losses are soon made up.
The young are born very early in the season and those which survive can soon breed.
Females can conceive at only seven or eight weeks when they can weigh only about 12 grams (less than half an ounce). The wood mouse has very poor eyesight but their sense of smell and hearing is so good that they are well aware of what is happening and they do not need good eyesight when they are most active at night. The social life of the wood mouse is complex but as it takes place in underground burrows this has been difficult to unravel.
What has been discovered is that the wood mouse is a much more sociable animal than the house mouse.
Wood mice tend to sleep together in groups and the breeding males tend to threaten each other rather than actually fight.
The males do, however, not behave well towards the young and the females do need to protect their young because they are born naked and blind.
Their eyes are open in 16 days and are weaned after 18 days.
popular flycatchers encouraged
ThIS summer migrant has become much more common in East Lancashire than it used to be.
The pied flycatcher is 13 cms (about 5 inches) long and the birds arrive in mid May. The males are obviously black and white while the females are brown and white. The birds thrive best in damp woodlands especially when they are close to a river.
There is no disputing the presence of flycatchers when they are feeding.
They perch on a branch then they fly out to catch a fly but return to their original perch. Only the pied and the spotted flycatchers feed in this way. While the adults feed almost totally on flying insects but they feed their young on caterpillars.
The young birds obviously need a supply of solid protein in order to thrive.
Foresters have done their very best to encourage flycatchers because they eat caterpillars which are often a threat to young trees.