Squirrel Babies, Otters and Fighting Badgers

An exciting week of footage at Yew View this week! It is always good to look through the cameras to see what has happened during the week. As I had set up a wired camera at the otter site last week, this was the first one I was keen to look at. The Bushnell had told me that the otters were not using the holt, but they were visiting a couple of times a week, sniffing and sprinting in the area. Indeed, I captured a couple of clips, including this one of the otter checking out the new camera….

More exciting, was a daylight clip!

Obviously, having a camera here 24-7 means you pick up other interesting mammal visitors. This mink has mouse prey and performs some interesting scent marking behaviour…

Another mustelid visitor was a stoat. This individual appeared, briefly, several times in the week.

Another surprising set of visitors were these two Mandarin females…

A quick look on the badger cameras showed some interesting behaviour. There have been some conflicts this week! These individuals have also dug up all the soil from around the artificial site, exposing the pipe that leads to the chamber. Not really sure what is going on here, but interesting to see the gesturing and foot stamping and scraping!

A favourite camera of mine every year is on our lovely YewView swallows. It constantly amazes me that these tiny, delicate birds fly all the way from Africa back to this site. We have about 6 pairs breeding, some of which nest in the stable block, where I have cameras on two nests at the moment…..

It will be good to watch these families… these are 2nd broods. Last year, at least one pair had three broods, with them fledging mid September!

Finally this week, a real added bonus! We have a stock dove box on site and we have had varied visitors, but none have stayed for any length of time and I must admit, I don’t always look at the footage from this camera. I had noticed there was a squirrel asleep in there, but this was not unusual. Later in the afternoon, the squirrel was still asleep in there! That made me look again as they usually only sleep for a couple of hours. On playing back the footage from earlier in the day, I could not believe what I was seeing… early that morning, this female gave birth!

These clips were lifted from about a three hour period following the birth. This box is quite dark as it is deep and it only has a standard nest box camera in it, so the images are not particularly clear….

I have been checking this box via my phone and yesterday, she moved them! I’m not sure where she has gone with them, but I will know more when I am at the site later this week. A great opportunity to watch something I have not witnessed before  … Yew View never ceases to amaze me with its wildlife opportunities!