Early April in the Meadows and the Woods

I have been delaying writing a post thinking that the baby Badgers would come above ground and grab the headlines, but they haven’t yet. However, they have been moved again:

Trail camera

Trail camera

And here is one of the Badgers out before it got fully dark:

Trail camera

We have started our Operation Yellowhammer by putting finch food along the rotivated strip. No Yellowhammer seen so far but it is proving very popular with the Linnets:

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Also a pair of Grey Partridge are visiting:

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Since the finch food has a proportion of sunflower hearts in it, the Foxes work the strip through the night because they love sunflower hearts:

Trail camera

Trail camera

The RSPB’s Turtle Dove conservation advisor has dropped off this year’s supplementary bird feed that we are again going to put down in attempt to encourage Turtle Doves to stop with us and breed as they arrive back into the country:

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This will go down from the beginning of May and so at that point we switch from Operation Yellowhammer to Operation Turtle Dove although, in actual fact, the feed is very similar.

I have some other photos of Foxes down at the peanut feeding area that I wanted to also include..

Trail camera

Trail camera

Trail camera

Trail camera

All very healthy looking, I am delighted to see.

Lovely to see this group of Badgers as well:

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I put a bit of food into the Mustelid box to see what this would bring in and this was a surprise:

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Although the lid is off the box, there is a grill over it to protect any visitors from aerial attack and so this Robin definitely came in through the tunnel.

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This sweet little Vole is making a nest under one of the reptile sampling squares. I believe this to be a Short-tailed Vole (Field Vole) although I say this with a certain degree of uncertainty because I still haven’t quite pinned down the difference between this and a Bank Vole.

The Mallard pair are still popping by at dawn daily while their eggs are being laid:

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I cannot leave the meadows without posting a photo of the two regulars, the Sparrowhawks and the Heron. Here is the male Sparrowhawk:

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I have so many photos of the Heron to select from. I chose this one because I love the intensity of its downward gaze. Look at that eye:

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Those poor Frogs.

At the wood, the Primroses and Violets are fantastic:

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The camera looking at the shallow painter’s tray bird bath has been photographing the Tawny Owl on the ground nearby every night. Here is the back of the Owl from last night:

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We have now changed all the cameras around to try to get a better photo of this bird over the next few nights.

This next photo is of the Badgers at the wood. There are FIVE Badgers in this shot:

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Not all these Badgers are living in our wood – there is a large sett in another part of the larger wooded area and these extra Badgers surely must be visiting from there.

Finally for today, I have some photos of bathing birds from the two baths that we have put in the wood:

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Jay
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Great Tit and Song Thrush
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Wren
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Blackcap bathing and Chaffinch in foreground.
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Goldcrest
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Goldcrest
Trail camera
Pheasant pair. I wonder if we will get chicks?

But what were the birds doing for freshwater before?

 

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