Lots to catch up on…

The vixen visited one of the hedgehog feeding stations again the other night and as you can see, she is still nursing. It is still only male hedgehogs that come to the feeding stations now and they won’t tolerate any other male to eat at the same time as them.  In case you are wondering how I know for sure they are male: I have the camera positioned so low that it really is very obvious when they walk into shot. Usually, one of the males is more alpha that the other and bullies the other one away from the food but on this occasion, both males were determined to own the feeding station…

Well, it looks like Delilah’s drey is not here after all, as we have watched her last thing in the evening leaving our little woodland and seen her first thing after dawn coming into our woodland, from another small wooded area. None of our Trail Cams have caught sight of her kittens yet, although I reckon they should be leaving the drey and coming out with their Mum for the first time in the next week to ten days, if my dates are correct. Nibbles is still around but not as much and usually not at the same time as Delilah. She caught him in one of the oak trees the other day and was like a squirrel possessed, chasing him from it: he was running for his life to get away from her. It had me thinking that maybe her drey was somewhere high up in the oak, as it is thickly covered in ivy and very hard to see if there is a drey or even a den in it but I have spent ages with the binoculars and can’t see anything and Delilah doesn’t go there last thing at night or come from there first thing in the morning. The shot below is of Nibbles leaving one of the feeders with a hazelnut in his mouth. He is moulting his winter coat and is looking a little tatty.

(By the way, in case you didn’t know, if you click on most of the photos in my blog they should open up separately and enlarged for better viewing)

For blog Nibbles on feeder 7.5.2017


Sad to write that Phoghorn Leghorn is no longer with us. I found him a couple of days ago when I was gardening in the woods. He had made a hollow for himself under a thick mound of Lamium and I found him snuggled down inside,  At first I thought he was just hunkered down, feeling poorly.  It was very sad to find that he had died: he had been my gardening companion for quite a long time.  He hadn’t been well for a while and had something wrong with his beak, which was making it almost impossible to eat, so it was only a matter of time I suppose.

Good photo of Phoghorn Leghorn

But we do have a new kid on the block here at Ye Olde Rectory.  Meet Sid…

SID Carion 1.5.2017

The cameras first caught sight of Sid with two other carrion crows in our little woodland a couple of weeks ago. The other two hung around for a few days, then left this one behind, so I am assuming that Mom and Pop brought Sid here and when the coast was clear, they flew off.  He was very lost for a day or two, just walking around the grassy glade, following any other black bird that came near, whether they were Black Birds or Jackdaws but he has slowly got used to being on his own and tucking into the hedgehog food that is left over in the morning!! I saw him trying to have a bath in a small water bowl left for the hedgehogs, which was very funny, as he could only fit one leg into it, so he now has a shallow tray as a bathing pool, which he is very possessive and won’t allow any other bird to come near. We lose one character and gain another 😀


We’ve all been super busy in the garden the past few weeks but especially the woodland garden.  We couldn’t have done it without Scott’s help, so a big THANK YOU! to Scott. 😀 At last, we have soil in the River Kwai and a bridge over it.  Two actually! They need securing and covering with chicken wire, so they aren’t lethally slippy in wet weather but at least the end is in sight!  We have started planting up the River Kwai with blue plants that will self-seed and spread and the aim is to be able to stand on the bridges and look up (or down) and hopefully, at most times of the year, there should be a ribbon of blue that looks almost like a river running down through the woods.  Well, that’s the hopeful idea anyway 😀 Here are a couple of photos of how it looks so far…

Wow! Look what the camera caught last night!

I am so pleased with this video of a vixen caught on one of the Trailcams last night. She is obviously nursing her kits somewhere. Unfortunately, one of the other Trailcams wasn’t working last night, so when she trots off into our little woodland, it doesn’t pick up her trail when it would have done had it been working and I am so very cross about that. It also means that it hasn’t picked up anything from one of the hedgehog feeding stations either. The other cameras did pick up a hedgehog feeding, so they were out and about last night. I couldn’t tell the size of the hog from the particular camera that took it.

Click the word Vixen below to see the video…

Vixen

 

One fox, one hedgehog in hiding and one out and about, and a little lemon Peugot.

Caught our first fox of the year on camera. Only a photo but hopefully we will catch it on video next time.

fox-25-feb-2017

The same night the Trailcams took a couple of photos and videos of hedgehogs in the woods. I have moved one of the cameras to hopefully get more ground shots now that we are having more visitors to the woods and I’ve also placed another camera at the start of our woods and I’m hoping between the three cameras all at ground level, I can track the wildlife’s journey through our place. Click below to view the video…

Hedgehog out early in the year

Moving on to our lodger, Eric.

eric-weigh-in-1-3-2017

As you know, every day Eric gets weighed and most nights he gets to have the run of our kitchen and to search for his food.  We barricade the cellar door which comes up into the kitchen, as he loves the smell of damp earth that he can detect through the gap in the door and he tries his best to scratch his way through the door and into the cellar. So, with that part of the kitchen secure I didn’t think to worry about anywhere else he may get into.  Silly me!  He managed to crawl through a small space and into the cupboard that houses the central heating boiler.  We have turned off the heating so he doesn’t burn himself on the copper pipes at the back of the boiler but he has decided to play hard to get and has been hiding at the back of the boiler for the better part of three hours.  Every now and then I hear him having a scratch or cleaning himself and I can hear him scurrying back and forth.  There is plenty of room behind the boiler and for him to get out. He just doesn’t want to.  I have placed a tray of freshly dug up wet soil from the garden laced with live mealie worms (yummy!) not far from the boiler cupboard and sooner or later he will get hungry and have to come out. We just have to be there when he does.  I hope it doesn’t go very cold tonight, only we can’t turn the heating back on until he is safely away from the pipes. If you look closely at the right hand side of the following photo you can just make him out all snuggled down.

eric-hiding-behind-the-boiler

Before Eric decided to go into hiding, we had a very successful day helping Olivia to buy her very first car: a lovely lemon Peugot 107.  We pick it up from the garage tomorrow.  I will post a photo of her with it when we get back home.

livvys-first-car