Author Archives: Chris Foster

About Chris Foster

Lecturer in Animal Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences


Colleagues in technical services report on a rare (in recent times) record of a badger (Meles meles) in Whiteknights park: “Testing 3 of our field cameras which did not show good results on the recent Ecology module. Cameras pointing to … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Mammals | Leave a comment

Flying Saucer Hunt

Last July we added White-letter hairstreak to the campus species list. It’s impossible to say whether it was a stray individual (revisiting my photograph it was a pretty beaten up specimen!) or part of a breeding colony on campus. It … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Butterflies, Insects, Lepidoptera, Surveys | Leave a comment

Enhancement Week

School of Biological Sciences students and staff alike enjoyed a veritable wildlife bonanza during week 6 ‘enhancement week’, with a range of sessions including bird ringing and moth trapping that served to demonstrate you don’t have to go far for a … Continue reading

Posted in Birds, Lepidoptera, Moths | Leave a comment

Moth Night Catch

It was a cool, clear night, and 8am found the Harris Garden wreathed in mist and drenched with dew. Would any moths have found their way into our light traps in these conditions?

Posted in Lepidoptera, Moths | Leave a comment

Moth Night (Morning) update

Further to Alastair’s post, whilst it is probably too late to put on an official event I will have two light traps running in the Harris Garden overnight. All welcome to join me from 8am tomorrow to open them and … Continue reading

Posted in Insects, Lepidoptera, Moths | Leave a comment

White Letter Day

I had the distinct honour of adding a butterfly to the campus species list this week, in the shape of a rather smart White Letter Hairstreak. New moths come along on a near weekly basis – hardly surprising since we’ve recorded barely … Continue reading

Posted in Butterflies, Insects, Ulmaceae | 1 Comment

A Nightingale Sings In Whiteknights Park

This afternoon I was out enjoying the sunshine and doing a spot of fly-catching in the meadows near the meteorology field station. At about half past 3, I thought I heard – or perhaps imagined – the jug-jug-jug-jug phase of a nightingale’s … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Birds | Leave a comment

Breaking Ground

Behind the greenhouses in the Experimental Grounds is a patch of mostly bare ground that has clearly been well-trodden by naturalists over the past year or so. It’s the site where mousetail was rediscovered on campus last spring, and perhaps … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Beetles, Insects | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Bird Tracking

On December 12th a colour-ringed black-headed gull, white 26L1, was spotted on Whiteknights Lake by dedicated campus birdwatcher Peter Gipson. Pleasingly, it proved to have been ringed as part of the Berkshire gull scheme run by Tim Ball’s Reading and … Continue reading

Posted in Birds | 1 Comment

Christmas in Bloom

The warmest year on record seems to be allowing a number of plants to cling on in flower. Perhaps they’re limbering up for the BSBI’s New Year Plant Hunt, which this year is being coordinated with assistance from Reading graduate Ryan Clark. Both Scentless … Continue reading

Posted in Birds, Plants | Leave a comment