Herons and Frogs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrogs have started mobilising, gathering for what is one of the first wildlife spectacles of the year here. Below is a trail camera photo from last year when frog numbers reached their peak in early March:

IMAG0121

There are nothing like those numbers yet but the increased activity that there is has not gone unnoticed:

Trail camera

P1120733

P1120731

Grey Heron fish mainly at dawn and dusk and indeed this is when we have been seeing this bird for the past few days. Yesterday morning we saw it flying off with a frog in its beak. This morning it was back again and we were able to watch it from afar through our scope catching two frogs for breakfast:

P1120770

P1120803

No frog spawn here yet. Freshwater Habitats Trust run a spawn survey each year and the sightings they report always start in the warmer west of the country and sweep east over several weeks. Here is the most recent map that they have posted to Facebook:

51446881_10155756158847364_3451252461401014272_n

Another happening early in the year is Badger mating immediately after the birth of their cubs. This is not the first year that they have been kind enough to do this in front of our camera but I was certainly most surprised to see a third badger involved.

Screenshot 2019-02-08 at 18.26.13

Screenshot 2019-02-08 at 18.26.39

The mating couple are the two mature Badgers but the badger backed up against them is the 2017 cub. I read that female Badgers start to ovulate in the Spring of their second year and this is exactly how old she now is and so I suppose that she is hoping for cubs next year. The male, aka Scarface, is not her father.

Here is Scarface on a wet night when he has been transformed into a very stripey Badger.

Screenshot 2019-02-07 at 14.40.20

And a beautiful, healthy wet Fox:

Screenshot 2019-02-06 at 21.05.19

There are a lot of Linnets on the strip at the moment eating the millet and oil seed rape seed that we are putting down through the winter:

IMAG0026

The bird ringer came today to try to catch them but he caught very few. He thinks that his net is too high and they can see it silhouetted against the sky. He is going to borrow a half-height net and try again next week.

I like this photo of communally bathing Woodpigeons:

IMAG0048 2

In my last post, I suggested that this animal below might be a baby badger that had come out of the sett while its mother was out feeding:

Trail camera

When I finally got round to looking at my backlog of videos that were taken by another camera close by, I saw that it had captured an animal that I now think is a feral Ferret lolloping along the cliff path. This is the same animal and is not an early sighting of a baby Badger.

The bird ringer went to the wood for the first time yesterday. He was hoping to catch Blue Tits for a survey he is doing for the BTO. Well, he caught 27 of them so that pleased him. He also caught this Marsh Tit, which is a rare bird for Kent. It’s confusing because it does live in woods not marshes.

Resized_20190214_135146_7981

He also caught a young male Sparrowhawk:

Resized_20190214_164631_5342

He took this photo while holding the bird by the legs with the other. However, it did then peck him and, not surprisingly given its beak, drew blood.

We have been noticing a wonderful crescendo of bird song building up these days as spring approaches. Particularly beautiful is this Robin who is often to be found singing his little heart out on the top of this tree:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Herons and Frogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s