2010 Notes

2010 Notes

6th December -4.5c Freezing fog

For the past two weeks a thin covering of snow has made keeping warm and travelling for most people difficult. For wildlife that difficulty can be multiplied by probably 20 times. The ground is frozen solid as are all water supplies apart from rivers and brooks. So apart from staying warm the wildlife has still to find food and water, so all those who live in houses and  run business premises please spend 10 minutes per day filling your bird feeders and changing a fresh water supply for the uk bird life. Even a broken up left over sandwich will help. My feeders are being emptied every day  instead of every four days which should give an indication of how hungry the recipients of the feeders are, The birds also have a conatant supply of running water as do the badgers and deer.

The  last visitors to our badger-watch ( who were about to return to sunny & wet Australia)   left me with a contribution that will feed most of our wild birds and badgers until late January 2011, I am sure that apart from me our wildlife would like to thank the Duffield family for their contribution.

The badger are still emerging late (after midnight) even though they must be finding it increasingly difficult to find food in the countryside which I would have thought would have brought fporward their emergence.

The photograph below shows that badgers still change their bedding when snow is lying on the ground, the straw was dragged from a covered area down into their sett.

click on image to fullsize

While walking my dogs I have had close up sightings of many different varieties of birds inclusing green finches linnets and yellow hamer,the green woodpeckers seem to be finding something in our fallen apples along with fieldfares,waxwings and the odd thrush. Close up sightings of  Roe and Fallow deer  are a daily occurence. With the first covering of snow I was once again amazed to see the amount of animal traffic that had left footprints around our farm during the first night of the snow, by the end of the day following many wild birds had added to the foot print patternation in the snow.

Recently a cheeky  red fox was  also seen attempting to make a meal of Nanouk the cat. (fortunately  for Nanouk the fox was unsuccessful)

2010 Notes


The weather is over cast with a cool wind blowing in from the east. 

While walking my two dogs early this morning (7am) I saw the albino fallow deer with around 6 of her herd, neither of my two dogs either smelt of saw them. The deer  moved from one side of our plantation to the other very skill fully keeping us at about a 50 metre range as we walked along our perimeter path. 

As we passed our rear farm gate that leads to Traitors Ford and all other parts west of us, I noticed that something had disturbed the dew on the grass path that leads back to our mobile home. I was just wondering what it could have been when I spotted two roe deer watching me with ears pricked from about 10 metres away. They blended in with trees so well that only a movement by them made it obvious that they were there. I really wished that I had taken my camera with me this morning as they seemed completely unconcerned at my presence (unlike when I saw them in our orchard last Friday afternoon when they both jumped a 5 foot hedge). 

I also saw a kestrel and a  sparrow hawk (briefly)  a pair of buzzards kept me amused for sometime as they are ungainly on the ground and make quite an exhibition of themselves while feeding on bugs and worms in the small field in front of our mobile home.

2010 Notes


The badger emergence is now late 11.55pm with three badgers out together but not the same three all of the time, as they come and go at will during the early morning before returning to their sett at 5.30am.

While talking to one of our visitors last weekend he pointed out to me a peregrine falcon flying over our farm, he also said that the peregrine falcon was the fourth bird of prey he had seen that morning and it was only 8am when we saw it.

A barn owl set out from its owl box around 7.30 pm while a tawny owl visited the area below our hides and was seen by our visitors at close range, The owl was obviously using the flood light to help it find its prey. It stayed perched in the arena for some time in close proximity to the hides but was not seen to catch anything.

Our 2010 Badger Watch has now  completed, all of our visitors managed to see the  elusive badgers and also many other species of wildlife.

I would like to say a big thank you to all of the visitors that have visited College Barn Farm during 2010 and before, I would also like to say a big thank you to those of you who have sent me  copies of photographs that they have taken here during your stay here. I have put some of them on our web site for the benefit of all.

We are now we preparing for the 2011 Badger Watch and have some additions to make to our badger playground plusgeneral maintenance to trees etc. as well as repairs to one of our ponds  before February 2010 when our next vistors arrive. (weather permitting)

Below are some photographs sent to me by Teresa Cullen who visited College Barn Farm during August of this year:-

4 badgers all looking for Teresa



Photo by Teresa Cullen Aug 2010


Photo by Teresa Cullen Aug 2010


Photo by Teresa Cullen Aug 2010

Hanging on!! by Teresa Cullen Aug 2010

Many thanks to Teresa for sharing her photographs (click on the image to full size)

2010 Notes

A beautifull sunny day today 6c + in the sun but a chilly 2c  forecast for tonight .

As we near the end of our badger-watch for 2010  I thought that for those that have been here this year and for those who are coming next year I would put an autumn view of our tree planattion looking ftowards “Traitors Ford” and another Autumn view down the valley towards Broadway Tower (which can be clearly seen by eye today)

Our visitors last evening were up watching the badgers until 3.30am this morning and reported seeing 11 badgers, several deer and a barn owl.

The badger emergence seems to be later as the year progresses, during  December the badger emergence will be intermittent and January probably equally unpredictable.

The autumn view toward "Traitors Ford"

A view down the valley toward Broadway

 Click on the image to full size it