Tag Archives: Fox

Last of the Summer Whine?

Don’t worry this isn’t another post about a Dog. Today we have got wildflowers, fruits, butterflies, wild animals and some pretty tame ones but before I can get started…..

My day always begins with a plaintive whine. She hears me moving around in the kitchen and positions herself under my window and cries.

The Plaintif“Hurry up! I want to explore nature and discover wonderful new things.”

Shut up! I am making my breakfast.

Today we are going to climb over the fence and look for the new Badger sett in the next field along. My camera is currently tied to the other side of this tree looking out on a field full of sheep.

CornfieldTry and guess what it is filming….

You don’t have to watch all of this video (unless you are looking for a date) . Having a field full of sheep hasn’t given me too many problems so far  but it was pretty obvious that I would get some of this.

The next field along is a corn field.

CornfieldI know that there is going to be some confusion about this so let me take a moment to set the record straight.

In England when we talk about cornfields we usually picture (quite correctly) fields of wheat. In Scotland they often see oats. Corn is a word derived from the Latin granum and it means grain.

When Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba the natives there presented him with a grain that they called mahiz and Columbus promptly corrupted that to maize but the name corn also stuck.

To most of the world the words corn and maize are interchangeable and mean the same thing but in the UK we still think of corn as meaning grain, any grain.

Either way this is a corn field.

CornfieldThis abundance of food might be the reason that the Badgers switched fields. Some animals have been helping themselves.



CornfieldWhile some animals are obviously eating the corn I don’t think that they are having a major impact on the value of the crop, It is just a little bit here and there.

CornfieldI had noticed that my Badgers were looking particularly well fed, portly even.

Did you notice the little blue flowers?


They are Common Field-speedwell, Veronica persica.

I started photographing these at the beginning of March, long before the traditional Spring flowers like Wood Anemones and Bluebells and they have flowered everyday since.

They are very good value for money, especially if like me you don’t actually have to pay for them 🙂

Common Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwellSo I am bumbling about looking for a Badger sett. I never did find it, there is at least forty acres of maize here and most of the hedgerow is inaccessible to me. I kept bumping into other things.

This little Comma. At this time of year we can’t afford to pass on any butterflies, they won’t be around for very much longer.

Comma ButterflyThis is a young butterfly and it is fresh and beautiful. The Comma is one of the butterflies that overwinters here as an adult. This delicate little animal will spend the whole winter sleeping outside, through all of the terrible weather and it will survive the frosts. It will take flight again around the second week in March, that for me is the end of winter, when the butterflies return.

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

Comma ButterflyWinter is still a way of yet and the  hedgerow is full of autumn fruit.




BrambleOn a bramble leaf I see another butterfly. This one is a Speckled Wood. These butterflies are unique amongst British species because they can overwinter either as a caterpillar or a chrysalis. Those that reach the chrysalis stage will be amongst the first butterflies that we see next year and they will be newly emerged and beautiful.

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Speckled WoodWell that is about it for today. Did you have a nice walk?



FizzOh I nearly forgot Foggy,

Foggy was a character from the British sitcom “Last of the summer wine” and also something that happened to my Badger and Fox last night.

So that is it. Sleep tight and mind the bugs don’t bite.


A Badger Update

Well we haven’t had Badgers for a while now and there is a good reason for that… I loaned my  trail camera to a neighbour and he kept hold of it for quite a long time. I don’t mind, it is fun to see what goes on when you are fast asleep in bed. Anyway the Badgers are not going anywhere….. Well that is what I thought,

In fact they have moved house. They have moved twice already this year and so it is no great cause for alarm but now I have to find them again. Normally that would be easy but the fields have just been cut and the regular paths that Badgers make have pretty well been obscured.

Plus  my trained tracker dog is not always as useful as I make her out to be. In fact I don’t think that she would mind if I called her a “chocolate teapot.”

Chocolate Teapot

“You just sit there and I will go and look for the Badgers myself then.”

So starting at the beginning, we got up to the sett and straight away I could see that  it didn’t look very active.

Old settI set the camera up to watch the entrance to the sett and filmed for two nights. The sett is no longer in use.

We did get animals just not using the sett. I baited the area with raisins (very smelly).

I will show you two short clips. The first is of a small unidentified mammal. You may have to go full screen for this one. It is in the entrance to the sett which is the dark area above the number 23 in the time. I can see it’s eyes reflecting the light back. It is taking a chance with the foxes, they are not as daft as they look but they seem to be happy with the raisins.

Next we do get to see a Badger but it has not come from this sett. It is now past two in the morning and this animal is just doing it’s rounds of the fields.

So now we have to find the little monkeys and they could be anywhere, they have quite a large territory and it goes well beyond the farm.

FarmlandThey may even have gone back to the main sett, which is cool. I know where that is but it is a difficult place to film and on public land.

DEFRA are not culling in this area, I know where they are doing their killing now and my animals are safe.

I am hoping that they are still on the farm but Badger setts are pretty easy to see if you know what you are looking for and we haven’t seen a new one yet.

This is a possibility. It doesn’t look like a Badger sett but these hedges are wide and there is plenty of space under here to conceal an entrance. Something has been digging here. (Foxes are usually too lazy to dig when there are Badgers to do the work for them)

New site

If this is Badgers though then there must be a lot more to it under the hedge. In places these hedges are twelve foot wide with a ditch in the centre and bushes and small trees either side. It is an easy place to hide. I don’t really think that this is the place but I will have a word with Fizz tomorrow and if we can’t come up with anything else we will set the camera out here 🙂