Tuesday 28 April 2015

There were clear blue skies this morning with a slight frost and a chilly breeze.

I made a 4 hour patch visit today and was still hoping to find a couple of those summer migrants that might well turn up before the end of the month, but I didn't find any, there were a couple more flyover YELLOW WAGTAILS at Migrant Alley though, as well as a lone SAND MARTIN, nice to get those on my patch  :-)

As yesterday, a BUZZARD was sat out on a fence post at the Ashes Lane Field before it flew off into the Wet Woods, where again, as yesterday, I heard a TREECREEPER singing, plus a SPARROWHAWK was menacingly flying through the canopy.

The Scrubby Woods had hardly a songster in it today, CHIFFCHAFFS were mostly ''hu-eeting'' and the BLACKCAPS were only halfheartedly singing, a GOLDCREST did give some short song, and calls from BULLFINCH and COAL TIT were heard, such good habitat here, deserves much better!

The lakes were particularly quiet, the GREYLAG GEESE were already down to their last Gosling, I still await the arrival of CANADA GEESE young, as do the the 4 presumed males that are on the lakes. The Mute Swans had gone elsewhere, looks like they wont breed here this year, the owners of the pond have done a good job of clearing out the water weed...............

I made my way back to Migrant Alley for a sky watch, which was particularly dull today, only a GREY HERON was of note, plus the male KESTREL that was hunting over the Greenhouses. As I sat, nearly falling asleep, I watched a Fox cross the sheep pasture carrying a Rabbit, I waited a few seconds before stealthily following it, then saw it take the Rabbit to its den, before moving back out across the fields. I sat patiently by the den and was rewarded with the sighting of at least 3 young cubs that came out to frolic for a few minutes  :-) I'll not say exactly where the den is, as there are still Neanderthals out there who blame these creatures for all the i'lls in the countryside and will think nothing of killing them.

I took loads of images, here's half a dozen, i'll post more over the coming days .............

Fox Cub.

I was about 6 meters away, but you can tell by looking at their eyes that they cant focus well yet.

 The cubs were all different sizes and at different stages of development

This looked to be the smallest one

They could hear my camera shutter going, but couldn't see me, eventually they all bundled back into their den  :-)


Derek Faulkner said...

I wonder what killed the Greylag Goslings?

Warren Baker said...

Probably some macho man with an air rifle :-)

Derek Faulkner said...

Of course Warren, couldn't possibly be a fox. You can't beat the old "butter wouldn't melt in my mouth" photo of a killer to con people into saying "ahhh". I bet the defence lawyer for the Yorshire Ripper tried the same trick. Fortunately for wild birds these days, the RSPB have now seen past such photos and regularly cull foxes on their nature reserves each year. On my reserve last year a Mute Swan was taken from it's nest and eggs and found nearby with it's head missing, a classic indication of a fox killing if you know anything about the countryside. Later that day the remains were found at a fox earth, suffice to say, action was taken.

Warren Baker said...

Oh Dear, I didn't know foxes were so destructive, me being a towny, ive been blinkered all my life!

That's it then, if only we could kill all the foxes our bird populations would recover!

I'll get me gun out!

Derek Faulkner said...

I'd be a start Warren, but mind you hold the gun the right way round,I'd hate to see the fox get one over on you again.

Pete Woodruff said...

Sounds like you may know a little more than Derek about your suspicions that 'some macho man with an air rifle' did the deed re the Greylag goslings.

That said, Derek is obviously an RSPB supporter, they who protect only selected birds/wildlife and cull the rest.

Your Fox cub portraits are excellent Warren.

Phil said...

Great Fox pictures Warren.
We've had 'macho' men shooting Coots at New Hythe this year,I wonder what the need for that was. Maybe they mistook them for Ruddy Ducks.

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Pete,
After living and recording in Pittswood for over 15 years, I think I know better than most about what happens to the wildlife here and what drives their declines.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Phil,
You know what shooters are like, they couldn't tell a partridge from a pear tree !

Derek Faulkner said...

While it seems obvious to me that Warren writes his blog for an audience of people that are guaranteed to always support his views, as exampled above, there are often alternative opinions on some of the provocative comments that he makes about other countryside users and their pursuits. Perhaps, as has often been said to me, I'm silly to challenge what is pretty much a closed shop of opinion and will only be ridiculed, well so be it, it won't be the first time I'm called a pratt. Warren and his supporters, as do I, have strong and sometimes opposite views on how the countryside should be managed and I sincerely hope that he will prevent it being a one-sided debate by refusing to publish my opinions as he did once before.
And finally, in answer to Mr. Woodruff, I have been a member of the RSPB for 40 years but certainly don't support all of their opinions or work and definitely don't agree with much of what Mark Avery has to say. And to Phil, much as I totaly disagree with it, for some out-dated reason Moorhens and Coots are still able to be shot during the winter shooting season.