Tawnies, Muntjac, Badgers and Reed Bunting.. this week at Yew View

After almost 3 weeks away from Yew View for the Christmas break, I couldn’t believe how much Spring ‘sprung’ on site! The daffodils on the bank are showing buds and the snowdrops in the woodland area are just embarking on their impressive display. I am just waiting for that sudden cold snap to shock us before we really embark on Spring….

There is always a lot of recorded footage to look through after a few weeks off. Sadly the badgers are still not choosing to use the setts, but are trundling through on a regular basis…

This muntjac also made an appearance on a coulee of the cameras..

I have re-set up the Mammal Box after repeated badger invasions and it now has 4 secure catches t keep the lid firmly in place. A new Hikvision mini dome camera in place and we’re starting to get some nice footage. I was hoping the harvest mice will make another appearance … I’ll keep my eyes open for them.

With the duck weed still being a bit of an issue on the wildlife pond and no really cold weather to clear it all, the only visitor really to the Kingfisher post was this rather beautiful male great spotted woodpecker .

I created a new close-up camera set-up on the millet feeder further down the garden , as I had seen a lot of reed bunting. I am also hoping for a return of the redpoll. By the afternoon, I had started to get some nice footage of these attractive birds coming in to feed. The millet attracts the reed bunting and the sparrows. Many other species are not so keen, so it keeps this station pretty exclusive to them.

Of course, the tawnies are what I am most excited about as we get closer to their breeding season. I was thrilled to see that both individuals are on site during the day, as well as t night. They are using the three boxes we have as day roosts and the female (I think) is staying in the camera box just about every day. There is a small lighting box on one wall, next to one camera and she sits up against it like it’s a sun bed! I think it may give off a small amount of warmth. She looks very comfortable in there…

She sometimes emerges just before it is dark. On this clip you can see the external camera convert to IR half way through the clip as the light drops….

These individuals get mobbed mercilessly if visible when roosting through the day. Sometimes, I think the box is the only place they can roost, hidden away, where they can sleep peacefully. You can hear the magpies in the background here…

This clip shows the tawny using the box as a place to stash food. They often do this with large prey that they haven’t finished eating that night. This is often half of a large rat. In this case, it was put there one morning … and then collected the following evening.

For most part, though, I have hours and hours of recorded footage of a happy, snoozing owl!

It was also good to see the fieldfare still taking advantage of the last of the rotting apples. This individual came to the platform as I was at the PC so I was able to zoom in with the camera. These wintering thrushes are so handsome and great to see! I think I need to stock up on apples to replenish the supplies!

There were a number of redwing around as well, but I am yet to record them using this platform.