The Private Life of Sheep

Sheep can sometimes be a little bit annoying and so I have decided to move the Badger Cam.

Just like any other animal they quickly learned where to find the food (but you eat grass!) When I picked the camera up today I had sixty sheep videos before dark and another forty Β in the morning. Amazingly I also had forty Fox/Badger videos from the night. Watching these sheep eating my bait for two hours before nightfall it is hard to believe that there was anything left for the wild animals.

I have condensed my one hundred videos into three short clips. You don’t have to watch them but you will understand sheep better if you do.

Little Darlings. This next one is getting over familiar with my camera.

They do give the impression that they might be smarter than badgers, perhaps they are just more curious, less cautious.

So I am going to leave those Badgers alone for a bit and go and look at something else. Fizz and I went out for a walk yesterday and we found an amazing nest,

Starting from the beginning, it was an overcast day and we decided to go and look at Β the main sett. We haven’t been up there for some time because the path became seriously overgrown in the summer and it was unpleasant to try and beat a path up there, It has died back a bit now.

This is what it looks like today, it is still quite difficult to pass in places. There are parts where I have to carry Fizz because she can’t get over the thistles and brambles.

Jungle TrackIt is not the growth that is the real problem, it is the insects that swarm and buzz around us. After a time of swatting when they are really close and getting them out of my hair and off the inside of my glasses it begins to feel like a war zone.

Jungle TrackSo forging through brush that we haven’t seen for a while the first thing that we noticed were large areas that had been flattened.

Resting place

Resting placeBig animals have been resting here or hiding out. Wild Boar or Deer perhaps. I don’t suppose that any people have been up this track for quite a while. This isn’t a pleasant country stroll, you would have to have a reason to walk this path. Perfect for wild animals.

We checked out the Badger sett and everything seemed fine here, plenty of signs of activity.

Badger Sett

Badger Sett

Badger SettThen about fifty yards beyond the Badger sett we came across this nest.

Mystery Nest

Mystery NestWhat sort of an animal makes a nest like this?

A Mountain Gorilla maybe or an Emu? We don’t get a lot of them around here. I really don’t know and so if anybody does then please tell me.

Mystery NestMy stick is about three and a half feet long, I just put it there to get an idea of scale. I could not see any fur, feather or eggshell or anything like that but I didn’t want to mess around and leave scent there in case it is still in use.

Mystery NestSome effort has gone into making this nest. The straw has been brought here from nearby farmland, there is no material like this naturally here.

The nest is out in the open and offers zero protection from Fox or Badger of which there are a lot around here, so it is not for raising young.

Mystery NestSo guess where the camera is. It is watching the nest plus also watching the track to see what might walk past.

Mystery NestI think that this is a day nest of a Wild Boar. They do make nests to lie up in, especially at this time of year but I have never seen them do anything like this.

Here is another of life’s little mysteries.


We know that it is a Fox it’s all the other animals that we can’t identify. This video was from early evening, the clock was not set on the camera just ignore that. The picture is so bright because it is still daylight and the infra red has kicked in.

Finally a last look at my own wild animals. There still was food for them after all that sheepishness.

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21 thoughts on “The Private Life of Sheep”

    1. No worries Eliza. To get there you have to wade through swarms of insects for about twenty minutes and if you stand still they are all over you. There are much nicer places for that sort of thing. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks Sarasin πŸ™‚ I have known for some time that there is a “Beast of Badger Alley” and I have tried to get it on camera before. Maybe now that I have found it’s lair I will get lucky πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks Gigi, good question πŸ™‚ I don’t think the sheep are eating anything other than grass because they crowded that spot for two hours before nightfall and there was still food to keep the Badger going all night. The day before I had baited with raisins and I didn’t get a single night time video, I thought the infra red on the camera must have packed up. This night I baited with peanuts and got 40 videos. I don’t think sheep like peanuts. πŸ™‚

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  1. Wild Boar? Native in your area? I’ve heard there’s a handful in the U.K., but not sure where. The only boar I’ve ever seen where in Germany, kept below a posh hotel cum Castle.

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    1. So peanuts it is. I go through a lot of them. The bluejays love them and the squirrels…well, they love them as well. But the chipmunks just adore them and stuff their wee cheeks with them. So adorable. I wasn’t sure what badgers ate. The sheep are lovely. Enjoyed seeing them. And I noticed that I left an “o” off of the too in my last comment:) Sorry about that. I have seen a coyote (it came to my patio door) and he was beautiful. We have foxes in one of the forest preserves. You lead an interesting life, no doubt about it. πŸ™‚ Excellent post.

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    2. Thanks Stephen πŸ™‚ We have a large and growing Wild Boar population in and around the Forest of Dean. So large that the Forestry Commission say that they have to shoot five hundred this year to try and control the booming population. Boar are also well established around East Sussex and moving in to Kent. They seem to originate from the Peasmarsh, Rye area where Sir Paul McCartney has a substantial estate and the Boar are believed to have escaped from his land.

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      1. Hello Colin,
        I’ll keep my eyes open, Rye Harbour used to be one of my favourite spots, but I haven’t been for years.
        I had a substantial estate once, a black Volvo.
        Stephen

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  2. I enjoyed all the videos very much. I know from experience that sheep learn to eat food other than grass. There is a view point next to the road up on the Lake District fells where we sat and ate sandwiches a few years ago en route to somewhere. We were mobbed by sheep who really REALLY wanted our food and stole sandwiches and chased my daughter! A surreal experience. With regard to the daytime video of the fox and unidentified creatures. Is there any heat at all coming from the cam? Would insects be attracted to it or any slight noise from the cam? I wondered if the ‘things’ were very close up.

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    1. Thanks Clare πŸ™‚ I lived in West Yorkshire for about seven years and used to do a lot of walking. I am sure that I have met those same sheep. They can get very pushy when they are used to picnickers. The insects are probably being attracted to the infra red light but I have looked at those videos in slow motion and frame by frame and I can’t make any sense of them. I think that it is a trick of the camera. When I look at a single frame it looks like a long thin insect with four sets of wings. The camera takes a frame every 300th of a second and what I think is happening is that each frame is capturing four images of an insect, Maybe it has to do with the flicker rate of the Infra red lights. The effect is that it looks like a long thin insect but I don’t think it is πŸ™‚

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