Badgers still stealing the show at Yew View!
After their cameo appearance on this year’s Autumnwatch, the Yew View badgers are still active on site and I have capture lots of footage of their comings and goings over the last few weeks. We now have 3 satellite setts being used; the original sett with cameras outside, our camera badger sett and the new sett dug up on the banks of the Severn. There are different individuals in each area as far as I can see.
The camera at the original sett shows that the individual with the wounds on its back is still staying there. Several clips show it sleeping outside the sett entrance but regularly moving around the area, sometimes being greeted by an individual that seems to be coming from the main sett in the woodland, some 1/2 mile away
The new sett dug up on the banks of the Severn has just one entrance and I set the trail camera there. I captured lots of good clips of them coming and going from this area. There are 3 individuals using this; a female and her 2 cubs from this year I think.
Unusually, I also captured this daytime clip. It is not common to see them out in daylight at this time of the year. I have no idea where this badger would be heading as the other sett sites are some distance away and would involve going up the lawn areas of the garden; highly unlikely in daylight. I am intrigued as to why this badger would leave the sett at this late hour….
I also had a nice pheasant clip this week at this location…
One individual has been seeing in the camera sett this week as well. Lots of the normal scratching and grooming has provided me with some lovely clips. I am hoping some others will choose to use this sett over the winter as well.
I think it was this badger that has also discovered our small mammal box and worked out how to get the two rocks on top off, so he can raid the contents. Annoying as it is, it did give some rather lovely close-up footage! I think this individual should be known as ‘Hoover’…. just look at the way he sucks up all the goodies on offer here!
I think we will need some heavier rocks on top of this box, but looking at those claws and knowing their strength it is going to be difficult to keep them out of this box!
The otters seem to be visiting once or twice a week still, to spraint in the area by the holt. Although I keep a record of all the visits and times, there does not seem to be much of a pattern in their visits. Good to still be seeing them regularly though.
Finally, our tawnies are getting more active again. I have started work on this box, clearing it out, replacing the chippings with a nice new deep set and they seemed to approve!
My next challenge is to get a camera up outside of this box…. not an easy feat due to the height and positioning of the box, but I am sure they will nest here again this year and want to be sure we can film outside as well as inside the box next year.
A 100m bore hole and a pump has meant that we are now able to keep this ditch full of water! This is creating another valuable habitat on site and we are planning expanding it into a mini wetland area in the spring to encourage a range of creatures and especially dragonflies and damselflies.
I am also researching the building of an artificial otter holt… with cameras inside the holt of course! Anyone with experience of such projects or who know of a really good waterproof IP camera with IR capabilities, please get in touch!
Finally, summer is still trying to keep a hold at Yew View and, with some late nectar sources still around, this late Red Admiral was still active…. butterflies in November?! Bizarre!