It has been properly cold out there recently and here are some wintery photos taken by the trail camera at the hide pond:
The male Sparrowhawk was at the side of the pond for more than ten minutes trying in vain to take a bath:
This morning there was a widespread frost:
Everything was briefly turned into a wonderland until the sun rose up and properly got going:
This is a Badger at the end of a long night doing what Badgers do best – messing around in soil chasing worms:
But this next photo, taken at 1pm in the middle of the day, is very unusual behaviour indeed for the Badgers here and leads me to suspect that cubs may have just been born underground.
I include this photo taken at the Badger sett because this Fox looks so magnificent and healthy:
This one, too, looks wet but in great fettle:
But that is more than can be said for the poor mangey fox who is still visiting the peanuts most nights but at such varying times that it has proved impossible so far to put the medicine out at the right time so that the correct Fox gets it:
I need to seek further advice from the National Fox Welfare Society to see what they suggest.
Meanwhile bird species number 72 has made a grand entrance into our lives here. A bright green ring-necked Parakeet has been around for a few days although to date we have failed to get a photo. It is not a bird to keep a low profile – so noisy and flamboyant. We knew that there was a population of them up in Thanet but it is the first time that we have seen one here.
One last photo from the meadows for today is a Kestrel – first time we have seen her on the gate:
In the woods, we were so excited to discover a Badger sett in a part of the wood we hadn’t really explored. It is a single tunnel dug under a mass of bramble:
We put all three trail cams that we are using in the wood around the hole and got some lovely woodland shots:
Then, at last, the photo we had been hoping for:
An idea that we had read in one of our woodland books was to plant some bare-rooted Christmas trees, grow them on and in a few years we will be able to cut down our own trees to bring into the house. That seemed like such a good idea that we thought we would get going straight away and so have bought fourteen very small Nordmann Fir to plant up.
We haven’t given them any protection against Rabbits on the assumption that Rabbits won’t like them but we will have to see how that goes. We are such beginners in woodland management – although we have now both signed up to a coppicing course in the autumn which should help. Until then we will continue to watch and learn!