Spring flowers, Bees,Latest Tawny Meals & Badger Snoozes from Yew View

Yew View was looking stunning in this week’s sunshine. Everything is beginning to burst into leaf and there are plenty of early nectar sources around for the growing number of bees appearing on site.

The Tawny Mining Bees have appeared as well, despite the badgers digging up their favourite grassy bank in search of last year’s grubs. These solitary bees create underground tunnels in which they lay their eggs.

We are now heading toward the third week of incubation in the Tawny Box, with about another week and a bit before they are due to hatch. It is SO exciting and I just hope everything goes according to plan! All seems well, with the female settled during the day and the male visiting pretty regularly at night, supplying her with food. He did not bring in quite as much food this week as last. We had a few less wood mice, a few more voles, but a new species appeared. This week, he brought in two harvest mice. When you know you only have a small population of harvest mice on site, it seems a shame that these have been caught. We have not captured them on any of the other cameras or feeding stations this year, so I was pleased to see they are…. or were…. still here at Yew View. I hope they don’t capture any more of these tiny rodents, but rather they stick to the large numbers of mice and rats we have on site.  There have been some hefty wood mice bought in… probably those that are regularly fattening themselves up in our mammal box!

I captured a few clips of some of the food items being brought into the box…

One wood mouse was so large, she had trouble swallowing it!

One was so large that the female had great trouble swallowing it!

I also had a go at using the digital zoom on the camera in the box. I can access the camera directly via its IP address and zoom in on the image using the software. The actual camera does not zoom… the software just zooms in on the captured image. I have not really used this before, but it will be useful when the eggs hatch. Obviously , the more you zoom, the more picture quality you lose, as you can see in this clip, but still not bad!

The buzzard has been using the perch outside the tawny box regularly for hunting. Wonderful to see this impressive bird of prey hunting here.

The badgers have been using the setts a lot again… three individuals together this week. So wonderful to watch and listen to them interacting and grooming each other. This social grooming is an important part of a badger’s life, both to help keep their coats in good condition and to also strengthen the bonds between individuals. Still no daytime visits…. but they are staying longer and longer.

One morning, they all overslept somewhat and did a mad dash to the other sett in the early hours, in daylight. They then spent sometime outside of the sett digging and seemed quite relaxed in daylight, despite it being 6.30am and full daylight.

They are still coming to the feeding station for a snack every night as well…

Our male and female kingfishers are still visiting daily. I captured this clip of a stickleback being caught and devoured. They will be nesting now as well…. close by I hope!

More habitat creation on site as well with a new delivery of 20 more trees to add to the woodland area. Mixed species that will create a woodland  in years to come on an area that was once just lawn. This site just gets better and better!