Spring Diary 6 – To sleep, perchance to dream
They’re back! They might not look particularly wide awake, but hibernation is over and the dormice of Fingle are getting ready for spring. As instinctively sleepy little creatures they wake up very slowly, spending a lot of spring time curled up in a torpid ball. They will start to forage in the evening but during the day, they conserve their energy in a state of blissful oblivion.
Last year’s scientific study to radio track some of the dormice at Fingle Woods is now over and most of the small black nest tubes have been taken back to Exeter University. While removing the tubes, all sorts of interesting clues were found to show what has been going on in the woods through the winter. Many of the tubes have been used by roosting birds, looking for a bit of extra protection and others have been used as winter pantries to store food for wood mice.
by Matt Parkins