This is a bit of a mega update from Yew View, with me spending 3 days on site over the last week and a half, including a couple of nights. Staying over on site means I get the chance to film and watch at times that I can usually only access action on my phone app.
There have been a lot of visits by the otters, to the otter holt; not actually inside, but very regular sprainting. For the first time since we have been monitoring the area, we have had almost daily sprainting visits for the last week and a half. It is difficult to tell if it is the same individual or different ones visiting and this clip shows a selection of visits to this area…
It wasn’t only the otters visiting. The foxes have been fairly regularly sniffing around the area and one fox spent the majority of the day sleeping in the holt. I am amazed it can get in! The entrance is very narrow and I presume the chamber is quite small as well, although we have little idea of the interior of this holt, sadly.
Amazingly, we captured another hunter here in this location. Whilst going through the footage, I was thrilled to see this tawny catch a rat in front of the camera. … and a large one at that…
I love staying over at Yew View as I have control of the PTZ camera and I can set up different feeding areas and film the visitors. This week, I set it up quite close to the camera, meaning the IR is quite strong and the image is clear…
Staying over was also a great chance for me to get outside and watch the visitors. I have spend many, many hours watching the camera footage, but nothing beats seeing the wildlife for yourself. The lights are working brilliantly and both the badgers and the foxes have quickly become accustomed to them. It has meant we are now getting colour images on the cam and I was very keen to see these creature feeding in this lit area.
After a couple of failed attempts to creep up on the badgers at our feeding station, I finally managed it, clad in PJs and wellies! Despite these badgers feeding in a location close to the house, that must smell strongly of humans, they are extremely wary! It took me creeping at an incredibly slow pace and without sound, to get reasonably close. My heart was pounding, as I got close enough to hear this badger munching on the peanuts. If I made even the slightest noise, it stopped, froze and listened. I also froze, waiting for it to carry on eating. With the brightness of the lights obscuring my advance, I got within about 5m, where I stood silently, marvelling at this beautiful individual so close to me and unaware of my presence. I was treated to several minutes of viewing before a slight breeze carried my scent to the badger. Stopping, nose raised, it sniffed the air….. then it was off, surprising quickly! Disappearing into the gloom, I returned to the house, excited to have been able to watch.
The badgers have been pretty busy around the setts. They are still favouring the original sett (with no camera in the chamber) and, with the sudden leaf fall, they were soon taking full advantage of the situation! This individual spent about 20 minutes clearing up the leaves! I marvel every time I see this behaviour, as to how they reverse straight down the sett entrance without so much as a backward glance!
They still love to cover my cameras with slimy, muddy badger nose marks… twice this week, I have been treated to some lovely close-up views!
The polecat made another appearance as well… this time at the badger sett entrance. Good to know it is still around!
A great week or so, as usual. Check out my next post about the tawny box action!