Over the severe weather last week, I trained some trail cameras under the feeders hoping for some more unusual birds such as Bramblings and Siskins. I didn’t see either of these birds but I did capture this unexpected happening under the feeders at 3 o’clock in the morning:
There were several photos of this and I couldn’t quite work out what was going on…
..until they shifted position slightly and the final shot was this:
Badgers mating. I believe it is very normal for the male to bite the female on the neck like this at such times. Badgers mate throughout the year, although the peak is just after the cubs are born in late January/early February. However, the fertilised egg is not implanted immediately and it is only when the female puts on weight in the Autumn that she actually becomes pregnant. I am a bit unsure of the evolutionary benefit of such an arrangement though.
The other unusual visitor that I mentioned in the previous post was a Woodcock under the feeders during the night.
This bird has stayed around and we have flushed it 4 times now from the second meadow as we go round. This next image is a bit photographically challenged, but I can assure you that it is a Woodcock – one of us had the camera, the other had binoculars on it.
Two of the times we came across it, it flew up from the dug Turtle Dove strip which is the first time this additional piece of habitat has come into its own. The Woodcock is a bird of woodland and so I am sure it will soon be gone but it was lovely to see it while it has been holidaying here these last few days.