At last, the wind dropped and we had a dry night. I went back up my ladder to watch the badgers, but left a camera on the ground to get some eye-level photos. It's been a while since I used the Wi-Fi on that camera, so I tested it out with my tablet before setting off. I positioned the camera carefully and got to my seat.
As I was turning on the tablet, a badger appeared at the hole on my left. Nicola emerged and was soon joined by Nigel. He was in just the right position for a photo, but I had no Wi-Fi connection - very frustrating.
Jeremy joined the cubs and they hoovered up all the peanuts before wandering off through the brambles to the big oak tree. They played on the slippery logs underneath, with Jeremy joining in, then they all had a chase around the centre of the sett, largely obscured from my view by brambles and bracken. The cubs had a final check of the feeding site, to make quite sure there were no peanuts left, and the clan went off into the woods.
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.
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…