Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Just as the sun is starting to shine and the cold wind of the last few weeks is diminishing I've been frustrated by 2 things:
a) A badly infected knee which has meant that I have spent too much time sitting on the settee at home with my foot up, and....
b) My video camera having given up the ghost. John Lewis have discontinued the model so I've got to search the internet and try to find something that will do what I want without breaking the bank!

But one thing I have been able to do is to take the camera down to Sett C to look in on what the Badgers are up to. It won't be too long before the cubs start appearing above ground!

I was really pleased with the footage - 5 Badgers at one point is a good number for this sett, and there are various bits of family life on show including scent-marking and establishing dominance. As always, self-grooming give the 'ah' factor! When it goes quiet a Red Fox turns up. It looks in good shape until it turns sideways and we can see the mangled remains of the tail. Basil Brush was proud of the subject of his surname, but this one looks a bit sorry for itself! The footage finishes with a Brown Rat that turns up when everything else has moved on.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

...and Spring continues to march on!

I've had so little time to blog in recent days  but Spring continues to march on. Today Swallows were seen at Carisbrooke Pond & Bembridge - maybe we will get our first ones for the West Wight this weekend, though the weather forecast is not good. I remember my first Swallow of 2014, suddenly sweeping over my head close to the Freshwater Causeway!

Paul Swain photographed this flock of Shelduck this week - there has been a constant presence on the Western Yar over the last few months but they'll soon be gone. Over the next few weeks anything can turn up on the Estuary. An Osprey was spotted flying over just a few days ago, and there have been Sand Martins feeding on the flies over the Yarmouth Pools. Over the next few weeks I shall be looking out for the first Sandwich Terns and listening out for the first Cuckoo! I was also thrilled to come across two resplendent male Yellowhammers belting out their '...little bit of bread and no cheese' song in the early morning sunshine at Headon Warren a few days ago.

Badger & Fox cubs may very well start appearing this month...watch this space for the first Trailcam footage!

And, of course, I shall be out looking for insects, especially hoverflies. This is the impressive-looking Criorhina ranunculi, which I caught at Afton Marsh a week or so ago. There are more spectacular creatures on the way! Butterflies are increasing with Brimstones, Red Admirals, Commas & Small Tortoiseshells all flying around whenever the sun comes out! This year I will also be focusing on getting my head around the various species of solitary bee that make their home on the West Wight.