Thursday 30th December, temp +4c, foggy and damp
The badger emergence started once the temperature rose last Monday (27th December) with the badgers taking treats from all areas of their Arial climbing frame despite it being covered in snow.
While the badgers stayed pretty much underground from 18th-24th December the roe and fallow deer managed to eat about 300-400 lbs of barley that I had left out for them. (While looking around the snow capped landscape it did not take me many seconds to realise that the deer would have NO other form of sustenance) Fieldfares have just about demolished the apples that remained on our trees while all members of the tit family enjoyed the contents of the bird feeders with various other avian types like robins and dunock’s that do not normally use the feeders joining in.
While most of our wildlife has lived through the start to this year’s winter we still have January and February 2011 to get through, lets us hope that the really cold weather has come and gone.
Monday 20th December a night to remember! A temperature l-18c was recorded here last night.
When I walked my dogs at 7 am the temperature had risen to -14c
There was no badger emergence last night.
Tuesday 21st -8c during the day and warming up to -6c at night
While walking my dogs at 7am I saw 9 fallow deer ,the herd contained two stags(with impressive antlers) and a near albino doe which is obviously the three year old offspring of one of the two old albinos that have been in this are for the past 8 years. I also saw three roe deer around our mobile home feeding on the fallen apples and barley that I put out for them.
The raptors are starting to hunt in the dark; I saw a kestrel and a buzzard this morning out hunting in the gloom that precedes dawn.
There was no badger emergence last night.
Wednesday 22nd December intermittent snow showers -4c 200 mm of lying snow.
There was a badger emergence last night it looked to be only for a drink and a body cleanse.
I am seeing roe deer every day at all times of the day; I guess the attraction is the barley I am leaving out for them. I am also refilling our wild bird feeders every 48 hours.
We still have apples attached to our trees one of which seems to have stolen a “Father Christmas” hat. (see below)
Thursday December 24th -2c overcast, no wind, intermittent snow showers with snow and ice now everywhere.
There was a badger emergence last night with a badger or two wandering a little further afield, lots of badger, fox, deer and rabbit spoor in the lying snow. The fox was being very brave and walking across our frozen ponds possibly looking for the moorhens which left us for the safety of a nearby brook and the food in the running water last week. I spotted 4 fallow deer in our plantation of trees on this morning’s walk at a distance of 15 metres .
We have had 6 inches of snow today and it is still snowing hard, on my early morning dog walk the snow was just starting giving a whitish background which enabled me to see a red fox (in super condition) that was hunting for a vole and was oblivious to my presence until Poppy the puppy announced that we were around. I also spotted a roe deer in our orchard. I normally leave rewards for the badgers early evening but for some reason or other I left them this morning, they are currently under the snow in the photograph below. I do not expect a badger emergence tonight but if there is it will be very interesting to see if they managed to find their rewards.
-4c with a hard frost and light covering of snow over the evening of 16th December .
The College Barn Farm badgers emerged last night and found the treats that I had hidden for them( as they have over the past 2 weeks ) turning over rocks and large logs, scaling the badger climbing frame trees in their efforts to find the elusive peanuts. ( I do NOT make it easy for them to get a meal)
As I walked my two Springer Spaniels in the early part of this morning’s dawn Poppy the puppy espied her first fallow deer,there were four of them in amongst the tree plantation surrounding the badger’s setts. They were all about the same size and black in colour, so they stood out very well against a white background. The deer seemed quite calm and gently moved around us keeping around 30 meters away from the dogs, but staying within the confines of the trees. I thought that seeing the deer an excellent result for a gloomy morning walk until I approached our orchard where I spotted a kestrel hovering over prey just as the first field fares were coming into the apple trees for an early morning feed. When I arrived at our orchard I found three roe deer feeding on fallen apples, they soon exited the area as did we in the hope that they would have the rest of the day in peace to eat the enormous amount of apples still laying under our apple trees.
A Happy Christmas to all or vistors and supporters from all of us at College Barn Farm