Saturday, 31 December 2016

Saxon Mill - A year in review

Another year has passed and I have collected another 12 months of data on the fauna of the Saxon Mill.

This year I officially recorded:

53 species of Bird
2 species of Mammal
11 species of Butterfly
6 species of Dragonfly and Damselfly
1 species of Reptile

Of the birds, the graphic below shows the division by species.

This graphic shows species count over time showing a slight spring peak but being steady across the year indicating populations augmented by nearly as many winter visitors as summer ones.


2016 was a good year for Wrens and Kestrel and still dreadful for the Greenfinch with a single bird being recorded in February.

A new bird species was added this year - the Sedge Warbler bringing the total bird species count for the site to 92.

Banded Agrions showed well again this year with a narrow burst of active during their standard flight period.


I will continue to analyse the information and update the blog as I finish each part.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Badgers and Teal

For the past two weeks I have had some difficulty with my trail cameras. When the batteries run low, they no longer have the power to illuminate the IR LEDS at night and record a clip and so for some time I ve only had recordings of daytime passages, mostly Grey Squirrels.

Despite it not being too cold there has been much squabbling among the Grey Squirrels, with prolonged bouts of chasing.

video

Last week I managed to replace the batteries and so had evening footage for the last 7 days. This had included Wood Mice, Muntjac and of course Badgers. They seem particularly active this year and making the most of the foraging potential on my bit of land.

From the following few clips you can really see the Badger doing what it does best. Just off shot in one clip one Badger used its strong claws to dig out quite a deep hole. I m not sure what it was after, it could have been a bulb. The clips below show a nice demonstration of the eating machine a badger is. You can see the Badger using its powerful sense of smell to root through the leaf litter followed by little lunges forward and snapping of jaws to snuffle up the various invertebrates. Under the leaves the Badger will be hunting for worms, woodlice and earwigs. As you can see the badger is almost like a hoover moving around chasing these small invertebrates to get a meal.

video

The following night I captured another first, that was two badgers passing. It is common for there to be two or even three badgers together but they are always moving together in the same direction. In this case they are travelling in opposite directions and you get a nice piece of behaviour where the two individuals, obviously from the same sett, greet each other, check who they are before moving along.


video


Lastly I would like to conclude this post with a poor photo.For several years I have been attempting to photograph Teal on the river. I have great trouble as Teal are very nervous wildfowl and always see me well before I see them and either hide or take flight.

Today I was lucky enough to see three small duck fly down on to the mill pond. I was some distance away and the lighting was terribly dull and so the image below is the best I could get, but it shows a male teal. I have the shot in the bag, now I just need to improve it and get a better clearer one!!