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Suckling badgers and Kingfisher close-ups

It’s been pretty busy this week! I got back from Shetland late on Sunday night, after a truly spectacular week, then straight into school on Monday and Tuesday, then off to Yew View. It was great to be back on site again, as I have not been there for 2 weeks. This means I had a lot of footage to catch up on and I was keen to see if the badgers were still visiting the sett and what else had been happening whilst I was away.

Whilst I was in my wooly hat and coat in Shetland, Yew View had been baking in 30+ degrees heat! The wild flower meadow has gone crazy… in fact it has gone a bit over now, flattened by the rains that followed the heat wave. The fruit is coming on a treat, with loads of apples, plums and pears already starting to swell and the mulberry tree looking as if it going to have a bumper crop this year!

With a drizzly day ahead, I started looking through all the footage from the last few weeks. We had been having regular visits from a female badger and her cub to our artificial sett. I was pleased to see that these two are still regular visitors. The cub is beginning to become more independent and appears in the chambers alone as well as with the female. Despite him foraging for himself now, he is still constantly trying to suckle from the female. She does not appear to have much milk now, but he is determined to attempt to keep this free snack going for as long as possible. These clips show him trying to suckle… the female seems oblivious to his attempts and his frustration at the lack of milk! There can’t be many who have managed to film wild badgers suckling, inside the sett, like this….

I am hoping that this female chooses to actually give birth in here next year…. that would be very special!

The wired cameras on the other sett entrance have captured this youngster leaving whilst it is still light…

I am hoping that these two hang around and continue to use our sett as it is a pleasure to watch them.

There have been an increased number of visits by our kingfishers after a brief lull in their visits. I presume this is because they have been breeding and hunting closer to their nesting site. We are having male, female and at least one youngster visiting. They are always a pleasure to watch. This footage is lifted from the wired camera that I have on their favourite perch…

With increased visits, I wanted to capture some more footage on my Bushnell. Setting two up at different perch points, I used the close-up lenses on the NatureView Live View. These clips are using the 46cm lens, which is perfect for a full-frame image of this stunning jewel of a bird! They visited before I left, so I sneaked out and uploaded the footage… hopefully next week, I will have lots more!

I am thrilled with these clips… I have spent a while perfecting the positioning of the camera… just need a little sunshine now to really lift the colours… we’ll have to wait and see what next week brings!

We also have had a couple of other lovely visits to this post. The pied wagtails are feeding their second brood and often land on here whilst they hunt for insects around the pool. We have also had quite a few visits by Great Spotted woodpecker and her young. This young woodpecker, characteristic by its red cap, flicks its wings to encourage the female to feed it…

The tawny box is attracting a lot of interest from a pair of stock doves. They have been doing a lot of courting in there with regular visits by others male and female. I am hoping they are going to raise a family there before we re-vamp it over the winter, ready for the tawnies to return in 2018, we hope.

This stock doves will have to compete with these lively young  squirrels!

Finally, we are having lots of wood mouse visits in our mammal box. Unusually, we are not seeing any voles or shrews though. This is interesting as we usually see mice, voles and shrews visiting at this times of year.

An update on the tawny owls… although they are not seen regularly in the garden, our youngster do still visit the garden. They are growing well and thriving. The will soon be off, looking for their own territories!


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