A week in a ditch.

Another week in a local ditch for our trail cameras. Footage from 2 different cameras one mine and the other my brothers they show one of the Roe Deer with her two fawns who regularly use the ditch as a path and a place to eat the new growth on the bushes and brambles. (note mum is the deer I filmed before with the damaged ear).

Note – some daylight colour footage at end of film not all night vision.

Coming back we spotted a few dragonflies on the wing. One of them caught a bumble bee on a thistle and ate it – something I had not seen before.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly. with Red tailed Bumblebee.

A week in the wild.

Jungle like woodland.

After a break using the trail cameras we set up some of the cameras in the ditch where we came across a deer family. a few weeks ago. (detail in link below).

We left the cameras set up in the ditch for a week. We collected them this morning and below is some of the best footage. A Buzzard drops in for a drink in the flooded ditch. (note the water level changes in the ditch). The Roe Deer and the Roebuck seem to be regular visitors using the ditch as a path.

New Forest spots.

A cup of tea in the New Forest and a short walk resulted in a few photographs. Following the calls of Stonechats, I put up a young female Fallow deer who was hiding in the Bracken.

Stonechats are about the size of Robin. The males bird have striking black heads with white around the side of their neck, orange-red breasts and a mottled brown back. The females have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests. They are often seen perched, on the tops of low bushes. As its name suggests, birds have a sharp loud call that sound like two stones being tapped together.

Male Stonechat.
Female Stonechat.

Titchfield Haven “gulls”

A morning at Titchfield Haven National Nature reserve. My local wetland reserve and a place I spend many hours.

https://www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/countryparks/titchfield

The Black-headed gull colony is in full on chick mode with many chicks in the open of various sizes. It is also worth noting some birds are still nest building, others are still mating and a few nests have eggs.

(sound only on 1st bit of film).

The first images show a group of the youngest chicks. At this stage they are quite cute.

The older chicks are less attractive.

The parent bird regurgitates food onto the ground and the chick eats in.

A few years ago (2018) there were very few chicks that survived due to the eggs and chicks being taken by foxes even on the islands. In 2019 an anti-fox fence and the numbers of chicks has again increased. They are still in danger from larger gulls. A Black-backed gull flew over while we were there and a large group of Black-headed gulls took the air just above the nest colony. While a couple of birds when on the attack a chased of the large predator.

small gull chases off big gull!

Wingspan:100-110cm Black-headed gull.

Wingspan:150-165cm Great Blacked backed Gull.

Also spotted today.

A little gull (Juv)

A few Mediterranean Gulls. Note the bright bill the head is really black compared to the brown head on the Black-headed gull. The coloured head on the Mediterranean gull also extends down their neck.

Several Roe deer also spotted in the reserve today.

Frog.

When I was a child frogs were a common find every pond or ditch would be a small child’s delight with plenty of tadpoles slowly turning into little froglets. I spent many an hour sat in the local boggy fields watching frogs. I rarely see frogs now and have not seen frogspawn or tadpoles despite looking for a couple of years.

Today while walking down a ditch to collect a trail camera I spotted 2 small fogs. It made my day.

Hiding in the grass.

Roebuck film.

Away from the madness.

A Bank Holiday Week-end and away from the madness.

Remaining on our local patch this long week-end as it is likely to be busy at the coast and popular areas due to lockdown liftings school, 1/2 term and a forecast of good weather.

Rabbits are everywhere at the moment but not alway the easiest mammal to photograph.

In the same field as the close observation of the local alpha Roebuck Thursday we spotted this doe feeding.

To our surprise a small head appeared mum was hiding her very young kid(fawn) in the long grass.

Further along I spotted this young Roebuck – I think he is one of the twins born last year.

Something new and not seen before was picked up on our trail cameras a Muntjac deer.(buck). Also known as a barking deer or rib-faced deer. Significantly smaller than our usual Roe Deer. They are actually a native of china but escaped from Woburn Park where they were introduced in 1901. Now they are living wild and are rapidly spreading in many areas of the UK.

A deer day.

Today was about lots of fairly close encounters with the local deer.

Deer in long dead grass show amazing camouflage. You can easily overlook them watching you often they let you walk past staying still but never take their eyes off of you.

I had placed a trail camera with a hope for some further young fawns with their mother passing but only caught the mother having a close encounter while she was feeding on some new bramble growth.