Meet the Clan.

A trail camera pick up today from a new location. We had been keen to find a foxes den or a Badger sett. Then by chance last week an old friend of mine and my brothers said he had stumbled across a Badger’s sett in a location about 5 miles from home.

As well as Roe Deer and Muntjac deer we capture Badger activity.

Here is some of the badger activity.

In the UK, badgers live in groups of between four and eight animals in underground ‘setts’.

These mixed sexed social groups live together in the same sett is known as a ‘clan’. Badgers are unique in this way as individuals in a clan will forage for food on their own, unlike other social groups of animals who might hunt together and reap the benefit as a group.

The diet of a badger is very varied, but earthworms are the core of the badger’s diet. 60% of their diet can be worms. In a single night, an adult badger may eat well over 200 worms!

When conditions are harsh when worms can be scarce. Badgers are able to shift to other foods, including snails and slugs. Soft fruit like raspberries and fallen blackberries will also be eaten Badgers will occasionally eat hedgehogs if normal food items are not abundant.

Sea & Haven

Some pictures taken earlier in the week at Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve and Meon Shore.

Common darter Dragonfly.

Migrant Hawker Dragonflies in flight. For every successful picture there are many misses!

Comma Butterfly.

Beach birds. A film of a collection of birds seen from the beach – a Cormorant taking off plus a Turnstone and Black-headed gulls.

A Juvenile Herring Gull standing proud watching the world go by. There seems to be a lot of young Herring Gulls around Meon Shore and Lee on the Solent this year I am not sure where they nest as I have not seen any nesting locally, they like cliffs or seaside buildings using their roofs – so I wonder if they nested across the water at one of the coastal town on the Isle of Wight.

A lone Turnstone on the waters edge.

Forest Views.

With the schools back lots of the holiday makers have gone home and the New Forest was noticeably quieter today. A walk at Cadman’s Pool to enjoy the views and some sunshine.

Plus some wildlife spotting.

A Common Darter Dragonfly enjoying the sun.

This year I have come across about 5 Toads one adult the others have been youngsters

Toad tadpoles look very similar to frog tadpoles except toad tadpoles have bulkier heads and shorter tails, young toads are known as toadlets. They leave their spawning pond in May and head off into the big wide world.

A very short Toadlet film.

Brimstone Butterfly. This is a male Butterfly being a sulphur yellow colour where the female is much paler.

Meadow Brown Butterfly on Heather.

Web.

Spiders Webs – at this time of year become more visible with the damp morning as we move closer to October.

A Garden Spider building a web – filmed by Simon my brother.

Ruff.

A 1st for me today at Titchfield Haven a Juvenile Ruff.

Back in January 2019 I saw a small flock of Ruff at Keyhaven Marshes near Lymington. (pictures below).

It is a migrant but in the UK some birds are present all year round. Many young birds from Scandinavia will visit the UK in late summer, they then migrate to Africa. It is listed under Schedule 1 of The Wildlife and Countryside Act. The RSPB list their numbers as

UK breeding:0-11 females UK wintering:820 birds

These birds plumage changes quite a lot and the males display a a colourful “Ruff” in the breeding season.

Killing fields.

Sunday’s regular walk is a short stroll to collect mine and my brothers trail camera’s which have be recording for the week. On the way a few Roe Deer were watching us approach.

This weeks footage records a fox crossing the ditch and the family of Roe Deer, the youngsters and growing well. (The same deer as we had seen on the way to collect the camera’s).

A few nature spots on the way back including a couple of Hornets hunting among the flowers in the meadow – they were actively on patrol like some combat aircraft looking for a target to engage with.

I must have looked like some sort of deranged person following a Hornet around the field constantly changing directions – many pictures of empty frames or out of focus insects!

Here in the UK we have one native hornet, the European Hornet. They are rarely aggressive. Unlike other wasps, hornets are unlikely to disrupt your picnic. Their size – which is between 2-3 cm’s for workers and males, 3-4 cm’s for queens – they are impressive and interesting to watch.

The hunting takes place at knee height among the the long grass.

A Hornet in flight.

You will have to look hard in the next 2 pictures to see the action it was a battle for life and death.

Picture 1 – The Hornet in flight on the hunt -the Hornet coming in at 45 degrees on the attack.

Picture 2 -The Bee gains height and escapes the Hornet attack.

A bit larger than the Hornet a grasshopper finally is not quick enough and is caught by the Hornet dropping on it. It was quickly killed.