The two most common birds on the island of Dhigurah are the Asian koel and the Maldivian house crow. The koel, being a type of cuckoo, is a brood parasite and the crow is its host - the koel lays its eggs in the crow's nest. The koel is a protected species in the Maldives, whereas the house crow is regarded as a pest. Both are noisy birds. The koel is more often heard than seen, as they tend to perch in the densest vegetation and betray their presence only by their extremely loud calls. The house crow is a bolder bird. It will call loudly at passing humans, apparently in defence of its territory.
Call of the Asian koel
Call of the Maldivian house crow
The Oriental garden lizard is often seen around the village. They are large lizards, up to 37cm in length, including a very long tail. They can move each of their eyes in different directions, like chameleons, and change colour to match their surroundings. During the breeding season, the male's head and shoulders turn bright oran…
For the final night of '30 Nights Wild', I'd hoped for another close encounter with the badgers, sitting on the edge of the bramble patch next to the feeding site. Unfortunately, weather conditions were not good. There was a cold north wind and I couldn't risk sitting upwind of the feeding area, even though the cubs are getting used to my scent. I had to sit on the other side of the clearing, further from the badgers.
The cubs were out first as usual, had their peanuts and returned to the sett. Boris then appeared on the edge of the sett on my left. She came over, sniffing constantly but continuing to advance without much concern about seeing me. She had a feed and was joined by one of the cubs. Later, Jeremy emerged, took one look at me and rushed off back to the sett. I heard a rustling noise from brambles behind me. One of the cubs appeared from the other side of the clearing and went over to investigate. Then both the cubs came running out, had a chase around and d…
I had a wander around Allerthorpe Common nature
reserve yesterday, on a recce for our work day next Sunday. Under the tree with
the barn owl box in it, I was delighted to find a large number of owl pellets
and lots of droppings. I brought one of the pellets home and soaked it in a
bowl of water to produce a sort of mouse soup.
Pellets and droppings Bones extracted from one pellet Most of it was fur, but I was
able to remove a lot of bones from it. There were two skulls (1), with matching
pairs of lower jaws (2), which I think are from field voles. Another two jaw
bones are slightly smaller and could be from a wood mouse (3). Some parts of
the rear of the skulls fell apart, but were easily identifiable, as were the
vertebrae. I’ve also found a shoulder blade (4), hip bones (5) and shins (6).
Then there are thighs, upper arms and lots of tiny ribs.