Some of my favourite photos

Monday, 26 January 2015

New project - Allotment

I know this just looks like a shed in the middle of a field but this is our new project - an allotment.
We have lots of ideas for the allotment that will combine fruit and vegetable growing with being able to encourage nature and lots of wildlife watching.
It already has 6 fruit trees.
After a first look around it seems that there is plenty of wildlife already there.
In the first photo you can just make out the badgers trail leading from the bramble patch, up past the shed.
There was quite a bit of fox droppings and a fox smell coming from under the brambles.

We have been told there are Tawny owls, which we could hear.
The allotment looks out over the field where we normally watch the hares.

My Dad hasn't actually seen the allotment yet and I won't repeat what he said when he saw the photographs!

We are going to spend the next week or so planning what is going to go where, so I hope you are going to follow us on our new adventure.



Something is living under this pile of metal and carpet

Saturday, 24 January 2015

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch


The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is where you give up one hour to record the highest number of each bird you see at once.
I chose to do it during 9:00am and 10:00am when the birds are just getting their breakfast.
In that hour I saw 24 Goldfinches, 2 Crows, 1 Dove, 3 Blackbirds (male and female), 1 Robin, 1 Wren, 3 Blue Tits, 2 Great tits, 2 Long tailed tits, 1 Greater spotted woodpecker, 1 Dunnock and 2 Wood pigeons.
All the birds have their own personalities, some push the other birds off the feeders, while some wait their turn.
Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a photo of the Wren.


The Long Tailed Tits just stay out of the fights.

This Blue Tit is trying to find somewhere to nest 

The Dove only comes in when safe


The Woodpecker scares most of the other birds away 

leader of the birds




Goldfinches



The pair of crows come most days and wait for my mum to put food out for them. One will come and grab the food off the floor, while the other sits in the tree and shouts at it.
Last year they nested in the big oak tree in the field next to my house.




Dunnock


Friday, 23 January 2015

Heron in the garden

Whilst watching TV after school my sister spotted a Heron fly past the window. 
I grabbed my camera and looked out of the kitchen window.
The Heron had landed on the garage roof.
After standing, looking down into the garden for a while, it shook it's feathers, walked along the top, then flew away.
Shame it wasn't tomorrow when I am doing the Big Garden Birdwatch.







Thursday, 22 January 2015

Mouse experiment on Winterwatch - my version

After watching Winterwatch last night, I decided to have a go at the mouse food trials.
This was where they put down 3 pots of food, one of cheese, one of grapes and one of nuts.
In their experiement the mouse went for the grapes first.
I left my trail camera out infront of three pots of food in my front garden as I know we have wood mice under the Yew tree. I used apples instead of grapes.
A cat walked past around midnight but ignored the food.
This Muntjac deer decided to come and investigate the food.
He ate the cheese first, then ate all of the nuts and lastly the apple.
There wasn't any left for the mice!


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Monday, 19 January 2015

Roe deer

We have around 8 Roe deers in our local wood, they normal stick together in pairs or groups of four.
These two are both females and one is slightly smaller.
The weather over the past few days has very cold but sunny. The deers have been spending time out of the woods, in the field, in the sunshine.
 After school we put the trail camera out for half a hour whilst taking the dogs for a walk in hope that the deers would walk in front of it. They didn't but these are the photos I took.      
The deers are quite used to us out walking with the dogs.





Excuse me

This deer seems to have a bald patch on it's hip and a few scratches



Friday, 16 January 2015

Wet hare and wet hair

As the hail began to come down this poor Hare sat in the middle of the field until it was so heavy it made a run for the shelter of the hedge. 





I've noticed the Rooks have been gathering in the mornings on the wires near my house and today was the first day that they have returned to their nesting site.
I wrote on my blog in August that they were leaving this nesting site for the winter. I don't know where they roost in the winter but the rooks still are around in the fields, they just go somewhere different at night.
Today there were around 40 rooks, a lot of them were flying around the rookery in obvious pairs.
Last year the rookery contained 43 nests.



This Robin was doing a good inpression of a Blue tit after pushing them off the fat balls.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Badger chasing Muntjac deer

I am very pleased with the footage on my trail camera from last night.
It shows a Muntjac being chased away by a badger.

Over the last few days I have been putting the trail camera in different spots. 
Last night I put it out facing down one of the badger paths going away from the sett.
Doing that showed that the badgers don't stop to feed on the paths. 
Rather than having hundreds of films of badgers eating I wanted to start getting some footage of their other behaviours.
The path heads down towards a stream. I looked it up and badgers mostly don't need to drink, so perhaps they feed down by the stream where the ground is wetter ???????

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Muntjac before getting chased away, it seems quite interested in the camera.

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Raven

There are a pair of Ravens on my Local Patch
Ravens make lots of sounds but most often I hear an echoing gurgling croak sound overhead that almost vibrates in my chest.
If it wasn't for their call it would be difficult to telling them apart from a Crow, Rook or Jackdaw when they are flying over especially like today when it is cloudy. The only way I know for sure that it is a Raven is their call.


 Ravens can use the same nest but not always, over that last few years they have nested not far from my house, but last year the Ravens moved further down towards the river.
I don't know where they go during the day but they fly over our garden in the afternoon or sit on top of the pylon.



Tuesday, 6 January 2015

More badgers and Abbey meadows

There are large groups of Yellowhammers around at the moment, you can hear them before you can see them because they are singing their song 'a-little-bit-of-bread-with-no-cheeeeeeese'.
The ocassional Robin appears to follow us around the field hiding when we turn back. With their red breasts they are very easy to spot amongst the bare branches.
I have been putting my trail camera out on the foxes cache but only got Badgers and a Deer. The badgers seem to look down the hole and sniff but are not really interested.



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At the weekend I went to Abbey Meadows in hope to see a Water vole as well as other wildlife, but due to the amount of people we only saw ducks, a lot of Squirrels and two Swans.
Abbey Meadows was once the site of the 7th century Abingdon Abbey. It is now a park which leads down to the River Thames.
On the walk back a Kingfisher flew past us and laned in a hedge. 
Across the river in the far corner of the field we could just make out the ghostly outline of barn owl hunting.

Aylesbury duck







Abbey Meadows

Friday, 2 January 2015

First blog of 2015 - Badgers

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I'd like to kick start the New Year with one of my favourite animals, the badger. For those of you who have been following my blog for nearly two year, you will know that my local patch has several very active badger setts. During this time I have seen the babies playing, the adults mating and fighting and have been lucky enough to have badgers wandering around my feet.
Over the last cold week the badgers haven't been around much, but last night it was much warmer as well as windy and rainy so they badgers were much more active.
The first badgers came out at 5.50pm and hung around the sett for half an hour.

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As soon as the badgers went the rats and mice appeared.
One badger came back around 7.30pm and another walked through the sett at 11pm to go down it's tunnel.
Other than that the sett was just occupied by the wood mice and a couple of rats.
The last badger walked through at 2.45am and the camera stopped filming at 7.30am, by which time the badgers weren't back yet or they had entered the sett through another tunnel.
I've been looking at buying a microphone so I can record the sounds the badgers make, especially in the spring and summer when they stay around the sett more.

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