In the dark

I slept last night while my trailcam monitored what was going off in my garden. There was a lot of activity in the owl box and a good number of visits by one of the birds, each one prompting frantic calling, so much so that I’m fairly sure there are young to feed. I am delighted that after last year when the box was not used, we now have potential for new chicks.

This evening I put my trail cam on a badger run and sprinkled a few dog biscuits and peanuts. But instead of retiring to the house for a bit of r&r, I climbed my usual tree and waited. The first adult badger appeared at 6.45pm just after sunset and before it was completely dark. About five minutes later, two more appeared and then another, four in total. I watched for a good half hour as they fed on the nuts and rummaged around in the undergrowth about five metres from my post. When it was completely dark, there appeared another two smaller animals which with my limited sight through the binoculars, looked like cubs. They didn’t stay long and I took the opportunity to climb down from the tree and return home while the animals had absented themselves. I’d forgotten how uncomfortable that tree was!

Pause a minute. It’s now 8pm and I’m off to the front door to join thousands of others in the UK to clap the NHS staff for their wonderful work!!!

Back again.

Since we’re all self isolating and the weather has been so nice in the last few days, I’ve spent an hour or two around the quarry opposite our house. Spring is certainly on the way. Buds are breaking out on the trees. I’ve seen a good few peacock and small tortoiseshell butterflies. Buzzards are playing out, chiffchaffs singing, great spotted woodpeckers drumming and a very wet toad crossed my path after leaving one of the ponds. The best is yet to come and I’m looking forward to spring proper when the countryside comes to life. This is not a good time for us as we are threatened by this pesky virus, but if we can get out into the countryside while observing the stringent rules about contact, there is so much to enjoy. Do it – exercise once a day with your binoculars around your neck…

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