A strange squealing in the undergrowth stopped me in my tracks, further investigation revealed our local Stoat collecting his next meal (poor bunny). I watched this amazing little animal drag the bunny (bigger than itself) a good 100 metres. It even dragged it over a large log pile, across a road, to its larder under a brush heap.
Unfortunately I found out that the owner of the brush heap was due to burn it that evening. I had previously spotted another likely Stoat bolt hole nearby so I set up a camera to see if the Stoat escaped the burn. Thankfully as you can see below, it appears to be in rude health, so watch out all you little bunnies!
It looks like our resident Doe is pregnant again, so fingers crossed we will have the pitter patter of tiny hooves!
Its about this time of year that she parts company with (or more accurately spends a lot less time with) her youngsters from last year. I have picked them all up on my trail cameras so here are a couple of short clips of ‘the family’.
I also have a clip of a very handsome mature buck, maybe daddy!
This beautiful bird was caught during our recent bird ringing session, this is a Snipe of which we have several resident on site at the moment. A very secretive bird which is, although not uncommon, is not seen very often.
Unfortunately we also discovered a dead Woodcock in the reedbed, no signs of trauma so not sure what the cause of death was. Another magnificent bird with stunning plumage.
A very big thank you to all my helpers that came together last weekend to plant over 400 trees and hedging plants kindly donated by the woodland Trust.
We planted hedging along the boundary of the farm road, with dog rose, dogwood, hawthorn, hazel and elder.
We replaced some of the Ash trees that have been lost due to Ash die back with Silver Birch, Oak and Rowan.
On the new extension of the reserve we have planted goat willow, downy birch and oak. We have also planted an avenue of crab apple and cherry along the perimeter of the proposed new path. This will provide a corridor for birds to cross what was an open meadow.
So once again thanks to Libby, Fiona, Jack, Steve, Rose, Dom, Matthew, Aileen, Ronan , Toby, Linda, Jamie, Sammi, Angus, Ian and Louise.
Its sometimes surprising what you see on the way to the hides. I was not expecting to see a Stoat clambering through the trees. Very accomplished climbers I believe, not great news for the upcoming nesting season!!