Monday, 27 May 2013

Mowsbury Hillfort NR

An unusual visit to the Hillfort returned Common Buzzard, Red Kite, Kestrel, Great Spotted Woodpecker nest hole and a swarm of Bees! A fortuitous call from Ranger John Bishop and he was soon on his way up to the reserve with Ray, a bee keeper friend. Between them they managed to catch the swarm and relocate it to one of Rays hives.
Swarm of Honey Bees
Ray and John capture the bees ...
..and relocate them.... their new home.
Following are some pictures from recent weeks at the Hillfort.

White Bluebell
 This White Bluebell was spotted by the Friends group who do a lot of the maintenance work at the reserve. One of its normal coloured cousins is in the background. There was a second white one nearby.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker
 I'm not sure what this GSW has in its beak. It looks like flesh like it might have been scavenging from a Rabbit Carcass although it might be a small chick raided from a nest.


Common Buzzard
 Swallow was added to the species list for the Hillfort today.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The last from the badger sett

Sadly this will be the last from the badger sett for a while. I found the following clip on the camera from last week and consider myself very lucky that I had a camera to collect today:

It's a real shame as I had the most badgers in one clip that I have had at the sett, 4, in a nice clip where they were all grooming. They couldn't have lined up better if I had asked them! There was also some more close personal attention for the camera this week, but by the badgers this time:

A Muntjac also decided that the camera needed a clean up:

I returned to the sett today to collect the camera before the group of morons paid a return visit so here are a couple more badger clips and a male Muntjac with a missing antler from last night to finish off with:

Pretty gutted that I have had to remove the camera from the sett, I considered getting a big chain and padlock but suspect cretins like those would probably just smash it if they couldn't have it. I'll have a word with some of the people I know to see if I can find another sett that is a bit less accessible to the public.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Back to the Badger Sett

Last week I finally got around to putting the trail camera back up at the Badger sett and this morning I collected the card and checked out the results. On my first visit a noticed a lot of new earth works around the sett including a new hole out along one of the well used trails. One of the original holes appeared to have collapsed but there was obvious signs of activity around the main holes where I have had the camera before. This time I chose a new part of the sett where there was some fresh sign of digging. The Badger here seems to have taken a shine to the camera!

You will have noticed that I finished off with a short clip of a Fox which stopped briefly as it passed through.

Not sure if this is the best place for the camera, the vegetation cuts down the view a bit, but I'll give it another week and see how it goes. Might try that new hole along the trail next week to see what is happening there.

Monday, 6 May 2013

A sunny bank holiday Monday morning

Surely not I hear you say but yes a beautiful morning and I was out the door before 0600 to make the most of it. I headed down to Kempston Mill and spotted JAs car in the car park. A quick exchange of texts and I caught up with him at the metal bridge up stream at Church End having already heard my first Lesser Whitethroat of the day along around the bypass bridge over on the Church Walk side of the river.

It was to be a day of Lesser Whitethroats, a bird I seldom require more then a couple of fingers to count at the sites I visit regularly!  We had our second of the day in the hedgerow along the road side at Biddenham Loop CP. The third was in the hedgerow by the footpath between Queens Park and Kempston Mill.

All of the other migrants were present in small numbers including a Willow Warbler which was showing well along the north side of the golf course.

Willow Warbler

Other birds of note were a pair of Linnets along the footpath between the new builds at Great Denham and a displaying Lapwing over the flood relief pools a little further along the same footpath.

Grey Heron
Having spotted this heron at some distance we waited as it appeared to be coming towards us and we were rewarded with a fly over.

I also found a possible Treecreeper nest along the riverside path down stream from the Mill. I saw one bird carrying food and another or same with nest material so I will keep an eye on the tree they appeared to be favouring.

Later I went up to Mowsbury Hillfort NR and had my fourth Lesser Whitethroat of the day. I heard it singing when I got out of the car in the car park and found it along the footpath up the west side of the outer meadow. I probably spent the best part of an hour with this bird as it moved around the reserve but failed to get a clear view in the entire time. Brimstone, Peacock and Orange Tip butterflies were seen along with one or more whites but I couldn't determine which. I also spotted my first Hornet of the year along the east side of the farmers field while I was following the Whitethroat around. Mallard and Moorhen were added to the site bird list, the ponds providing suitable habitat for these species this year. At least all of the rain last year was good for something!