Another First!

Another first today a Great White Egret. In my childhood a Little Egret was not a bird we saw in the UK my older bird books do not list them. Slowly they started arriving in the South and today they are a common sight I now see more Little Egrets on a day out than Grey Herons. Last week I saw 7 different birds on one stretch of coast.

The Great White Egret, according to the Royal Society of birds, the growing populations of this Egret in Europe has pushed the species to the UK. The RSPB suggest the uk wintering population is about 35 birds, but this year Bird Guides, a UK website and magazine which reports sightings of rare birds, dropped the species from its list of nationally rare birds because sightings had become so numerous.

Over the last week there had been reports of a Great White Egret at Titchfield Haven and this morning we spotted him.

The Little Egret has yellow feet and a black bill -the Great White Egret has black feet and a yellow bill. Sizewise the the Great White is about the size of a Gray Heron,

Another week in the ditch.

On Saturday we collected our trail cameras which had been out in the ditch in our local area for a week. The first part of the film shows how wet it had been with a good amount of water filling the ditch giving a Robin and Blue tit a chance to take a bath (note the passing dragonfly which the Robin takes an interest in).There are 2 different foxes one with a white tail tip and one without. Again the trail cameras is spotted by one of the foxes and the Roe Buck.

Walking back after collecting the cameras fungi are now appearing in good numbers.

Waxy Caps – One of the major lineages of gilled mushrooms these mushrooms are almost impossible to tell which one of the group they are by sight.

Parasol mushroom These are a fungi with a  large, prominent fruiting body resembling a parasol. It is a fairly common species they are often found in groups and fairy rings in pastures and occasionally in woodland. 

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.

Dirty ditch!

Monday is our pick up day for the trail cameras we have been leaving in a local farm ditch for a week at a time.

Less deer over the week but some interesting Fox footage. Mr Fox made his mark by defecating and cocking his leg to pee in the ditch. Raw unedited nature!. I do not think we trod in it when collecting the cameras.

We had 4 cameras out you may spot one in the video on the tree below you can see the fox spotted it, sometimes they make a slight tick when they are running.

Small Skipper Butterfly

A few small Cinnabar Moth caterpillars are starting to appear on their feed plant the Common Ragwort.

A spider with egg sack.

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.

Over the fields.

Walking on local fields some of the usual wild life plus a Chiffchaff which appeared to be building a nest.

With the warmer weather the local Bees nest is much more active.

No further Badger sightings on our trail camera’s but a young female Roe deer feeding on bramble leaves and a night time passing fox where captured on film.

Trail camera surprise.

Today we collected our trail camera’s from a new location in our local to home woodland. They had been on the field for 4 days.

One young female Roe spotted when crossing the fields.

I had left one of the camera’s pointing at a small dip in the ground where I thought a fox may go under the wire fence.

The first night a Roebuck decided to make a bed for the night. This footage is quite long but felt it was worth not over editing it as it was quite a privilege to spy on this deer’s night. We have found quite a lot of areas of small patches where the leaves have been moved and something has been sitting down, now we know more. Are the deer moving the leaves where ticks wait?

After the Roe moved on a first for our trail camera’s – a Badger! and a first seen in the wild in our neighbourhood apart from the odd body on the road. This film is a short one.

One of my other cameras did pick up a passing fox.