Cold frost on the ground yesterday morning and a bitter wind blowing. Not the sort of day you might expect to see a reptile out from hibernation.
This Viviparous Lizard should have been hibernating from October along with all the rest of his friends but we have been seeing him under the same reptile sampling square for at least a week. Why is he up? Obviously he is hugely distinctive since he has lost his tail. This is a defence mechanism to avoid the grasp of a predator and the tail continues to wriggle after it is shed as a further distraction. The tail will grow back but its a one time only thing since the regrown tail cannot again be shed because will be made of cartilage rather than bone.
We have twice seen a Short Eared Owl hunting over the long grass of the second meadow – once at dusk and once at 10am in full daylight which was wonderful. Because of this, we have put up a perch in the middle of the long grass in the hope that it will come again and use it. We have a camera trained on the perch and so, should this be successful, we will get wonderful views of it:
The extra bird boxes that we have ordered have arrived.
They are all Schwegler ones made out of ‘woodcrete’. Heavy, well insulated, easy to clean out and should last for many years – although more expensive than most. We will get these up shortly so that they are also available for sheltering in over the winter.
Last night we got this wonderful photo of the male badger drinking – can see his tongue:
Still so many Blackbirds around the hedgerows. In this photo taken by the same camera as the one above, we have 5 Blackbirds using the pond at the same time
The UK has probably had an influx of Blackbirds migrating in to avoid the harsh Scandinavian winter which has supplemented resident bird numbers.
Finally, its always a treat when all three of the badgers come to the peanuts at the same time.