Monday, 24 July 2017

Trying out a Moth Trap

For my birthday this month, I got a Moth Trap. I have been toying with the idea of getting one for some years now. Moths are a taxa that I am not particularly familiar with. I spend much of my wildlife time in daylight and so do not really come across them.

They are fascinating species and have a wide range of morphologies and life cycles. In fact, there are far more species of moth in the UK than there are Butterflies. After a bit of research, I asked for a portable 6 watt 12 volt Actinic Bulb Heath Trap - http://www.nhbs.com/title/160780/6w-12v-portable-heath-moth-trap

The trap arrived in good condition but needed a separate battery for operation. It is simple to assemble and well constructed. Metal panels make it durable whilst plastic funnels and veins direct moths into the collecting chamber whilst also keeping out the rain.

After reading up a little and watching a few you tube clips I set up the trap last night on the patio in my garden. I left it on over night and with some trepidation, I checked it this morning. I was hesitant as on some clips traps had attracted hundreds of moths and I did not think I was up to such identification challenges. As luck would have it the trap contained only a few moths.

As I carefully removed the egg boxes I managed to trap and/or photograph 12 moths. Only three managed to escape one Macro - the largest in the tap and two micro.

Of these 12 moths, five were Macro Moths and 7 Micro Moths. I then began the task of identifying them - I used: UK Moths and  British Moths and Butterflies. Below are the ones I have identified, most of the micros are too difficult for me and if you think I have something wrong let me know, I am very much a beginner at this.

Plume Moth - Amblytilia acanthadactyla 

Riband Wave - Ideae aversata 
Possibly a Black Owlet - Scythris grandipennis


Single Dotted Wave - Ideae dimidata

Cabbage Moth? -Mamestra brassicae

Large Yellow Underwing - Noctua pronuba

Common Carpet - Epirrhoe alternata

These are the micro moths I have been unable to identify:






I look forward to repeating the procedure next weekend and then venturing down to my land to increase the species list down there.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Could Micheal Gove save conservation in the UK?

A little under a year ago I reported on this blog my response to a letter I sent to our new Secretary of the Environment Andrea Leadsom. Twelve months have passed and we now have a new Secretary Michael Gove. I have to admit to rolling my eyes when hearing about his appointment. I work in education and so am familiar with his work, I have also, however, been assured of his razor intellect and ability to focus on important issues.

Farming is Mr Gove's First Target


I had the feeling his appointment was nothing but a political move in order to get a possible ally or enemy into the cabinet to prop up a post election unstable government. I saw him as a stop gap and so decided not to write to him this time. This week, however, I have readjusted my view, could Gove actually achieve something for nature conservation?

Mr Gove made his first speech this week and some of what he said filled me with encouragement. I have talked about my apprehension about the loss of environmental protection during Brexit as well as my hope that this will be a new chance for improvement and this speech seems to suggest that the government might also think this way.

His speech outlined his plans for a ‘green brexit’ and he extolled the virtues farming in partnership with conservation and even commented on his ‘deep regret’ that America has pulled out of the Paris Climate Change Agreements.

The key thrust of Gove’s speech which he reiterated on Radio 4’s Today programme was a need to shift the emphasis of the subsidy programme to farmers. These subsidies come from the EU Common Agricultural Policy. Over the years this scheme has come under fire, yes it helped create some protection for the environment but it also led to problems with the execution of the subsidies where in fact many landowners could be compensated for doing very little.

Gove’s new plans suggest a more rigorous approach to ensure that pays to protect. This harks back to the old adage of the ‘polluter pays principle’. I m not against farming, they truly are the guardians of our countryside but as a total industry, they can be lacking. Farming is a hard job but by offering proper financial incentives to effective measures would be very beneficial. This is the perfect time to restructure the payment structures to link subsidies to the burgeoning field of ecosystem services and whilst I am yet to be fully sold on the commodification of the ecosystem a more focused system can only be good.


Mr Gove’s tenacious nature also bodes well, he pushed through reforms to standards in teaching against the large teaching unions and so his ability to get things done cannot be questioned the actual question is what do we want him to get done? As nature conservationists or concerned parties, we need to get in at the ground form so that other lobbies don’t change the path. Perhaps it is time for us all to write to Mr Gove and encourage him to pursue this ‘green brexit’ vision and to do so with the backing of the science behind.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Commas everywhere

Today out on my patch the Comma butterflies were out in force. I recorded over 10 feeding on the extensive bramble flowers. All were vibrant orange, still glistening in their newly emerged form.



Comma -  Polygonia c-album

Bivoltine - March to End of April, July to Early October

First Sighting date in the Patch.

2003 -                                  13th July
2004 -                                    4th July
2005 -                  26th June
2006 -                                    2nd July
2007 -                                     8th July
2008 -                                     7th July
2009 - 10th May
2010 -                                    4th July
2011 -                                   2nd July
2012 -                                   8th July
2013 -                                 14th July
2014 -                29th June
2015 -                  7th June
2016 - 8th May
2017 -                                 10th July

Alongside the Comma's there were several Ringlets, a Meadow Brown and several Large Skippers.So far this season had been poor for butterflies but now seemed to be picking up.

The first of the Brown Hawker Dragonflies were on the wing and unusually I heard the first grasshopper -  Field Grasshopper whose orangy red abdomen caused me some confusion for some time.


Camera Update

My new camera is back up and running and this week it caught two interesting sights.

The first is a short glimpse of a Roe Deer. The first Roe Deer sighting was on the 14th May and was a doe. This week a young buck appeared on camera for a few seconds. You can briefly see the short horns.

video

The arrival of this species is interesting, as I stated before there aren't many habitats for Roe Deer nearby and had the individual being a female again I would have guessed that a lone individual was passing through the area but in this case the animal is definitely a different individual suggesting that there is a larger population in the area than I would have expected.

Secondly is a shot that I always hoped I might one day get. As you may have seen from other blog posts the site is blessed with a fluctuating population of Wood Mice, the numbers seem to rise and fall reflecting not only changes in weather but also predation.

video

I have recorded Tawny Owls on the site in the past, I have found pellets and was even lucky enough to see a youngster some years ago. The next clip is of a Tawny Owl emerging from a hunt. Obviously, in pursuit of some prey, the Owl has swooped down but become entangled in the undergrowth. In the brief footage, I do not think the owl's hunt was successful.


Sunday, 25 June 2017

To chop or not to chop - management on the small scale.

I have always taken a fairly hands-off approach to managing the small patch of wet woodland and meadow I look after. I've always believed in letting nature take its course and giving the plants and animals the opportunity to what they do best.

There are volumes and volumes available on habitat management and ways to improve the habitats but nature itself is capable of finding its own balance. Modern nature conservation requires habitat scale management in order to maintain species because quite often human impact has altered the balance of nature so much that more human intervention is needed to help them survived.

What we have ended up with is a range of heavily managed nature reserves that appear natural on the surface but in fact, the amount of work put into them illustrate that they are at least partially artificial. Do not get me wrong I am not knocking reserves by any means, they serve a very important purpose but in my situation, my small patch is not going to be a species specific site of intervention. 

The ethos of my patch is let it be free and do what it needs to. At first, I had attempted to control the spread of nettles on the site but soon found that once I had stopped that in wetter areas forget me not and willowherb out-competed them and elsewhere tall grasses and reeds have done the same. 

I must confess to some management. In the early days, I planted 20 trees of which today only 2 survive. I put up upwards of 10 bird boxes but these were nearly all predated by Woodpeckers or not used at all. There are more than enough natural tree holes for the bird species.

In the summer I also do some invasives management. The site is home to large quantities of Himalayan Balsam which spreads fast with its explosive seed pods it can cover riverbanks and crowd out native species. The problem I have with the presence balsam is how much the bees and hover flies like the nectar in the pitcher like pink flowers. Bees are in real trouble and so my approach is to cut the flower heads off after flowering and before the seed pods ripen. These seems to be controlling the balsam. Its is still present on the site but is not spreading.



Lastly, is pruning. By necessity, I have to get about the site and often I have to cut back the trees to keep the small paths clear. Yesterday I had to do this a willow that had split in a storm several years ago. Over time one of the branches has slumped causing an obstacle. Most pruning I do is just that, a quick trim, taking out the odd reaching branch but this one required the removal of a much larger branch. It took me awhile with my trusty hand saw but once it was done the path was clear. In line with standard practice, I have moved the fallen branches to one side where they can rot down and provide vital dead wood habitats. 

I guess what I am driving at here is that management needs to support wildlife, sometimes this means intensive direct action and in others little or no action. Ecosystems exist in a dynamic equilibrium and sometimes they need to be left to their own devices and sometimes we need to guide or support it. It is up to all managers to line up their management with their goals and find what works best for them, Sadly in the UK there is so little 'wilderness' or natural habitat that in most cases human intervention is needed to subvert the human impacts elsewhere.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A short camera trap update

It's a little late this week but today's post looks at a couple of clips taken this week.

Firstly and most excitingly is the glimpse of one of this year's Badger cubs out with two of the adults.

video

Another regular - Half Tail the Fox has been about a lot this week too. He is looking in very good condition.

video

video

Sunday, 4 June 2017

General Election 2017



It is now just four days until the General Election and some regular visitors to this blog spot may have noticed a lack of election posts this time round and there is a good reason for this. Usually, I take some time to investigate the environmental policies of the various parties, but in the case of this election, none of the major parties seems to have developed any environmental policies worth discussing.
Here, however, I try to highlight the key policy differences:

Transport
Conservatives - Committed to expanding Heathrow
UKIP – Oppose Heathrow expansion in favour of enlarging smaller airports
All parties are committed to HS2 except Green Party and UKIP

Clean Air/Global Warming
Labour – New Clean Air Act to legislate against diesel fumes
Liberals – Diesel scrappage scheme, Binding target of zero net green house gas emissions by 2050, ultra-low emission zones in many cities
UKIP – Repeal the Climate Act

Fracking
Labour – Ban on Fracking
Liberals – Oppose Fracking
Conservatives – Will allow shale gas exploitation but not fracking

Hunting
Conservatives – Will offer a free vote on the Hunting Ban


THE LABOUR PARTY - Musings on the Wild Score: 7/10
The party manifesto has specific sections on Environment and Animal Welfare, however, a good chunk just says what the Conservatives have done wrong without outlining what they would do right. They talk enthusiastically about safeguarding wildlife and the environment but do not say how and in what way. Most promisingly they oppose changes to the hunting ban and would end the badger TB cull.

THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY - Musings on the Wild Score: 5/10
No specific sections in the manifesto. The party discusses the use of Shale Gas as a resource allowing non-fracking drilling accompanied with softening of the planning law. They will set up a specialist regulatory body and believe this will be a lower carbon resource than coal. 
Investment in developing low emission vehicles
In terms of the countryside, they want Natural England to offer more advice to farmers but do not say how they will fund this.
Disappointingly they will offer a free vote on the repeal of the Hunting Ban.
They do however offer to produce a 25-year plan for the environment to focus legislation.

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS - Musings on the Wild Score: 8/10 
The liberals have a dedicated chapter on the environment. They give detailed plans on reducing diesel emissions and reducing Greenhouse Gases such as the Zero Carbon Britain Act. They promote a greener housing programme with more efficiency standards. They are the only party to suggest more green spaces and a Nature Capital Act.They also have an ambitious plan to plant a tree for every person in the country. The Liberals will increase legislation on waste reduction.

I know the environment is only one theme people consider in an election but I hope that all people who vote on Thursday will factor these ideas into their decision.




Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Saxon Mill - A photo diary

Today I thought I would highlight some of my sightings with photographs to illustrate them.

As soon as I had locked up my bike I could hear the shrill call of a Great Spotted Woodpecker. I was very familiar with this particular call as I had heard it many times over the years. It was the cry of a juvenile woodpecker calling for its parents to bring it food.

I had suspected that there was a nest nearby because last week whilst I had a drink in the Mill I watched a pair of woodpeckers ferrying wood. With a little bit of searching and following my ears, I found the nest hole and waited for an appearance. No adult turned up but eventually, the youngster poked his head out.


You can tell that the individual is a juvenile due to the red crest on the forehead. By adulthood, this red patch will disappear and one will grow in on the nape of the neck.

Moving along my usual route I passed the Jackdaw tree where two sets of parents were busy feeding young. The warm and wet weather had caused the vegetation to grow greatly and I had to forge a path along the riverside through the nettles. As I moved I stirred up clouds of Banded Demoiselles that took to the air as I disturbed them. Each week I try to count them, a task which can be very difficult.

I counted 612 individuals all told and I am certain I missed many. Of those counted, 77% were male, resplendent in the deep blue coloration. After years of watching these delicate damselflies, this was the first time I spotted actual mating. The following three photos show the male in blue grasping the female in green behind the neck with his claspers. The grip is strong and the pair are able to fly in tandem. The male secretes a packet of sperm from one segment that he transfers to his penis in his thorax. The female then bends her ovipositor up to make contact and allow the sperm to connect with her eggs. This behaviour creates a wheel-like formation. This can last for up to 6 hours whereupon they will move to the waters edge and the female will deposit her eggs on reeds using her ovipositor.


    


I paused halfway along the river to sit and watch. Here the smaller woodland birds began to show, I saw a pair of Goldcrest, Blackcap, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Wren.



The little bird was singing intensely and was shifting its tail in agitation, in fact, they had the stiff upright tail pushed forward more than I had ever seen before.

Along with the Whitethroat in the meadow, I heard and then saw a Sedge Warbler, a species first recorded last year. Sadly it was too fleeting a glimpse to get a photograph, a task for next week I think.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Natures ups and downs

This week after some difficulty with getting data from my trail camera I have started to get data again and excitingly a new species has been captured.

At 20.47 on the 14th May, a Roe Deer made an appearance. I have seen very few of these striking Deer over the years and I was very surprised that such a deer was spotted on my patch.

video

The deer's slender legs and short body depth suggest that this is a young female, probably one of last years young. As a species, they prefer woodland and forest and field edges. In this part of Warwickshire, I have only seen them at Warwick Castle Park. I suspect this individual was moving along the railway line or perhaps came down from Gallows Hill.

On the downside, the swans that nested on my patch have lost their nest. Heavy rain during the week as suspected led to the nest being washed away. The two nests at St Nicholas Park also seem to have been abandoned although not as a result of rising water. On the canal however, the pair have successfully hatched 7 cygnets.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Not a good place to be a vole!

The Saxon Mill, whilst a haven for all kinds of wildlife is becoming a less and less secure place to be a vole.

My last post retold my sighting of a Grey Heron hunting and catching a Bank Vole. Today whilst down on my patch, I saw a male Kestrel appear carrying a vole of his own.


The Kestrel looks like a young male to me. He has excellent plumage but seems quite small. The vole he has caught is just under half his weight. Judging by the length of the tail in relation to its body length I think that he has caught a Field Vole, furthermore the brown upperparts and grey underparts further distinguish it from a Bank Vole.

As I watched I was surprised that the Kestrel did not just eat the vole. In fact, he just sat there. Occasionally he would pick it up in his mouth as if he was about to take flight but didn't. Acting on a hunch I moved away down the path and stopped observing him directly. The tree he was in has been used as a nesting site in the past and last week I saw a pair of Kestrel by the tree. Once I was a bit further away the male picked up the vole and swooped down to the trunk of the tree.


I could then hear all sort of squawking and then out flew a female Kestrel carrying the vole. She took a perch lower down a tree and then flew off, the male, however, did not emerge.


It is my guess that the pair of Kestrels are nesting in the tree and the female was sitting on eggs. He was out hunting to feed the female. He returned but felt uncomfortable entering the nest itself whilst I was watching. He took the vole in and took his turn brooding the eggs enabling her to feed.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

A Hunting Heron - Voles and Fish

Over the past several years I have been fortunate to see Grey Heron on many occasions. I have monitored a colony in Warwick and often see them at St. Nicholas Park and on my patch.

This morning I watched an individual Heron for some time as it hunted on the mill pond at the Saxon Mill. I watched as it stood stock still waiting for prey. It dived forward several times and failed each time, it got me thinking about what the Herons success rate was.
As I continued to watch a marveled at how controlled and stealthy such a large bird is. It places its feet carefully and lifts them to minimise splashes. It turns its head carefully watching multiple angles and once it detects a prey moves into position to start foraging.

The heron moved from the reeded central area where it was being unsuccessful to the bank side where over hanging trees might have improved visibility.

Whilst fishing here it saw something in the rocks on the bank side and quickly darted in to grab what seemed to be a vole. In the following sequence of photos you can see that it grabbed it with the tip of its beak and then rather than swallowing immediately it took it to the water and dipped it into the river. I do not think this was to drown the prey as it was too short a time but could have made swallowing easier as straight after it gulped the vole down.

The Heron grabs the vole side on from the rocks to the left

The Heron re-orientates the vole by gripping it by the head and neck
The Heron then dips the vole into the river
The Heron the swallows the vole whole, note the bulge in the neck as it passes down the crop.

Following this meal the Heron moved out of site under some low hanging branches. Here it spent 5 or 6 minutes before a splash could be heard and it emerged on the bank carrying a substantially sized Perch. Again the Heron did not immediately swallow its prey. Instead it moved swiftly away from the bank side and quickly flew across the river to thicker reeds where it then ate the fish. It was likely worried that another predator would try and steal his food and so relocated to better cover in order to keep it.


Interested by the herons feeding habits I found a paper in Bird Study which looked at how successful herons could be. The article indicated a basic frequency of prey at 1 per 55 mins with a 50% success rate.

I reckon I watched the heron for about 20 minutes and estimated it also to have a 50% success rate but a frequency of 1 per 12.5 mins.


Sunday, 16 April 2017

Bushnell Aggressor Trophy Cam HD Review

Only strangers to this blog will not know of my long-term camera trapping study. As of tomorrow, it will enter its 4th year of continuous operation. To start this I decided to upgrade the camera I have been using as my main camera. In the past year, I have experimented with Acorn models and whilst I have been impressed by them I opted once more for a Bushnell as my main camera. I did this mainly because I have been so impressed by the long-term stability that Bushnell has offered in the past.

My older Bushnell Trophy Cam ran 24 hours a day 7 days a week for 3 years with very few problems. I decided to upgrade for two reasons:

1. I wanted ti to improve the image quality I am getting

2. I was starting to get a concurrent error in which the camera would multiple trigger resulting in large volumes of clips to go through,

After a little research, I opted for the Bushnell Aggressor Trophy HD that I purchased from NHBS

Features

F2.8 Lens with a 38 degree of field of view
IR- Flash
Display Screen
SDHC Card
Hyper PIR
0.25s Photo response time
1s Video response time
Powered by 8 AA batteries

So how does it respond? well, so far I m impressed. It has been out for 6 days and the footage is clear. I have two clips to show this.
video


video

As I continue to use the camera I will continue to comment, especially as I think the field of view is different and I will need to reposition the camera to get the best footage.

Data collected over the past three years will be analysed and the results filtered into the blog as and when I finish it.


Monday, 10 April 2017

A new species for my patch

Whilst out for drinks on Friday evening the first thing I spotted as I took my seat beside the mill pond was a species of bird I had never seen at the Saxon Mill before - a Little Egret.


This small heron is becoming increasingly common in the UK. I can remember being amazed at seeing them on the Hayle Estuary in the mid-1990's when they were a national rarity today they are a breeding species found across the country, They often nest alongside Herons in colonies. I have seen them before at Warwick Castle Park and also at Aylesford School but this was first for the mill.

They are elegant birds with startlingly golden yellow feet. I took this on Saturday when the bird was still present, it was gone by Sunday.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

A Teal at Last

Today I finally got a good shot of a teal. I am a little surprised that a pair of drake Teal are still present on the river but today the lighting was good and I was able to gain their trust.

I spotted the Teal some distance away, luckily it was on the other bankside allowing me to get closer to it. It is remarkable how such a striking bird can be so hard to see. Just look at the picture below, how long does it take you to spot the Teal.



As I approached I could see that he was aware of me and was preparing to fly. I paused and sat on the bank. I avoided looking directly at him, such direct eye contact can spook birds and animals. I sat for a good five minutes keeping him in my peripheral vision. Eventually, he settled down and then began to feed, finally, it moved out of cover and allowed me to get the shots I wanted. It's a reminder that wildlife is just as much about patience as it is about luck and skill.


As I left I noticed a pair of Buzzards, one had been about all morning but a second had now appeared and the two began to circle. I saw them swoop together and wondered if it was a mating ritual, however, on a second pass it seemed more aggressive. I got a quick shot off and noted that one of the individuals moved off quickly following the final pass, a piece of behaviour called 'taloning' where an approaching Buzzard will reach out with its legs and talons and the other will turn and flip to bear its own talons.



In raptor's this is often used in food passing where one adult will pass food to another often a male to a female either as a courtship gift or a to feed a nesting female.

In other news, expect updates on two areas. Its the time of year for nesting and I have preliminary survey information on breeding swans in the area. At the moment I have located 3 nests but more news in a separate post soon.

The second news is in relation to my camera trapping. The main camera has been operating for three years and I have just purchased an upgrade for it. When it arrives I will do a review. Secondly, I have abandoned river cam. It's had some success but is limited. I have found a burrow with interesting promise and I have relocated that camera there. More information soon about who is living there.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Badgers

It has been a long time since my last post. This has been due to a sudden increase in work, my Masters coursework has kicked in and I am also doing some research for the County Council.

Nevertheless I have still been collecting and analysing my camera trap data. This year the badgers seem to be more active than last year and again my theory seems to be holding up that there is a peak in active when the cubs are born underground in January/February.

Below is a short clip which exemplifies the badgers sense of smell. Badgers have very poor eyesight and rely on hearing and smell. In previous videos I have indicated the way the badgers forage through the undergrowth, in this case you can see the badger raising its head to catch scents on the air.


video

The graphs below show the change in patterns of prescence and absence over nearly three years.

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Sunday, 22 January 2017

River Cam make a short but auspicious start

Following repeated failures with Otter Cam I decided that for 2017 I would focus less on the target and more upon the place, so was born River cam.

I have managed to find a suitable tree upon which to place the camera, it has a view of a quiet part of the river close to a used entry/exit point. I have tried to aim it so that it picks up the near bank and the river. Since it was set up at the start of the year I have worked on the angle of view and so far captured little except a fox and some inquisitive fishermen who stopped to say hello.

This week something interesting was captured just a few seconds of a grey heron.

video


On the main camera the number of Fox sightings has increased I am still seeing the limping fox but the uninjured one is becoming much more regularly sighted.
An interesting clip invloves the Badgers though. It shows something obviously spooking a Badger and it high-tailing it out of there. Badgers have poor eyesight but excellent smell and hearing. You can see the Badger mark the territory and then detect something. It raises its head to get a better sense of what was out there before turning and running. It runs in the opposite direction of the sett.

video


As today was a nice frosty sunny morning there were quite a lot birds about. There were flocks of Black Headed Gulls and Redwings on the fields and there were plenty of small Tits in the trees.

A male Kestrel was out hunting which was nice and I managed to get a few shots.




As I was preparing to leave I saw my recent holy grail a lone male Teal. I managed to get some shots off at a long distance, but as always when I moved down the bank side nearer it disappeared into the reeds. Even so they are handsome birds and a pleasure to see.



Sunday, 1 January 2017

Camera Trapping - A review of the year.

My camera trap year runs from April to April but I thought people might be interested in some data from the last 12 calendar months.

In the past 365 my camera has been in place and recording for 335 days (92% of the year). It was activated a total of 3588 times of which 1052 were activation only's, errors or failures (29.3%).

This number of activations equates to 107,640 seconds worth of footage, that's 29.9 hours of clips to watch.

335 days equals 8040 hours and an activation by something recordable occurred 21.13 hours worth of time meaning that along the hedgerow there was an animal or me present 0.26% of the time!

The very first animal recorded in 2016 was a Wood Mouse and the very last a muntjac and fawn. They were recorded at 23.58 on the 31st December. This goes to prove that Muntjac will breed throughout the year.

video

Aside from myself over the past, 12 months's the camera recorded:

Wood Mice - 255 activations
Muntjac - 233 activations
Badgers - 246 activations
Foxes - 133 activations
Grey Squirrels - 312 activations
Rabbits
Brown Rats
A Domestic Cat

Wood Pigeon
Blackbirds
Song Thrush
Robin
Dunnock
Great Tit
Wren
Magpie
Pheasant
Moorhen
Jay
Redwing



The pie chart shows that the occurrence of the main species is fairly even although Grey Squirrel just edge the most populous and the Red Fox is the least.

Over the year I have caught some interesting behaviour such as identifying the badgers regular sprainting and how they forage. The squirrels have been very feisty and squabbling a lot and the fox has been quite elusive.

On the unusual side has been the few sightings of Rabbit. Rabbits used to be prolific on the site but never recorded on the camera using the hedgerow but this time over a few days individuals were sighted, possibly bucks seeking new territories.

Heres to another 12 months. I will have completed 3 years worth of data and so look out for graphs of each of the main species then.