My Patch – February 2018

February has been a much more successful month in the field, with Spring finally on its way I have seen many more goings on…  

February 12th – I noticed this morning a Jackdaw looking in the chimney. They nested in it last year so hopefully it is a good sign that they will nest there again. 

February 13th – there were 32 mute swans in the field this morning. It’s nice to see they are still visiting in good numbers. 

February 15th – 10 starlings were sat on the roof chattering.  I noticed one sitting on the guttering near one of last years nest sites, it then popped in under the roof tile – looks like they are revisiting last years nests 🙂 The crows were also up on the chimney again.

February 20th – this morning there were 30 mute swans and a pheasant in the field. I know pheasants are around the field but this was the first time I had seen one at the top end of it. I had a quick visit to the garden tonight, I discovered fox scat in the flowerbed!

February 22nd – this morning there were two male pheasants in the field. They were closer to the garden and I am starting to wonder if they are picking up bird food that might have been dropped over the fence. Also 21 mute swans 🙂 

February 23rd – I put the trailcam out in the garden over night to see if the foxy visitor returned. Unfortunately nothing but plants swaying in the wind.

February 24th – the trailcam was put out over night in the field, the plan was to try and find out what was using the holes in the field as home (I assume rabbits).  Nothing came out of them, there were however a few visitors that passed by – fox, roe deer and possibly 2 badgers… or one that walked the same route a couple of times!  

February 25th – I decided seeing it was a sunny afternoon to head out in the field to look around.  Now I don’t normally see any other humans at all, however it being a Sunday afternoon I saw three!! Which might explain why I saw less than the normal amount of wildlife! Note to self – only go on the weekend if its really early! Along the north hedge I saw more than normal (no other humans there!) 5 starlings, 2 house sparrow and a blue tit, there were other small birds flitting around but they were hard to see darting into the hedge so I can only assume they are more of the same.  I know that there are tree sparrows in the area but I am yet to see any here.  

Walking passed the copse I again spooked the roe deer, 6 of them ran out the other side and settled in the next field over, through the trees I could also see where all of the mute swans have slowly disappeared to 🙂  Along the edge of the trees as I was walking down to the river I saw a bird running along the hedgerow, 99% sure it was a red-legged partridge.  I’ve not seen one in the field before.

Walking along the river I saw 2 of the humans, 2 mute swans and I heard both a moorhen and robin.  I still haven’t been able to have help to go and collect the litter, good news is its still there and hasn’t washed away! I’m still unsure if the ‘land’ its on is actually stable to stand on! 

On my walk back up I’m sure I saw a tawny owl sat on a tree branch on the edge of the copse, it flew off as soon as I saw it so I didn’t have a good view, but it looked owl like in flight, it flew back into the copse.  

February 26th – 5 mute swans and 11 roe deer near the copse this morning 🙂

February 27th – 1 pheasant and 2 mute swans in the field with 5 long-tailed tits on the feeder and a robin pottering around in the flowerbed. The mute swans have reduced in number over the month, but at least I know they are just in the next field over 🙂

Snow Tracks

Although the recent snowfall was only a couple of weeks ago, to be honest it feels like a lifetime ago! I headed out on the Saturday morning to look for snow tracks.  I have a good idea what visits the field in the day and a fair idea of what wanders around after dark, but normally finding tracks other than roe deer is not easy.  The snow however made it much easier 🙂 

I had been told that the house next to the owner had been walking their dog through the field, so I needed to get there early so I didn’t have dog prints in the mix.  Luckily they hadn’t been out by the time I got there.  I did however have cat prints everywhere! They were quite easy to spot as the cat wandered out into the field so I could have a good look at his print!

Along the top edge of the field along with the cat! I found fox prints, it had been quite active during the night by the looks of it but I guess seeing I now know there are rabbits living along the hedgerow I can see why.  It had been looking into the rabbit hole and it did look as though there had been a chase or at least a rabbit running in an arch.  The rabbits had clearly marked their burrow entrances with urine! At least I now know for sure who the holes belong to!  The only other tracks I found were pheasant, which seem to be spending time in this part of the field.

Instead of heading around the field I headed out into the next field along, I knew the mute swans were there and wanted to check on them.  I also found roe deer, rabbit, brown hare, fox and badger prints 🙂 All the four legged mammals that I have seen in my patch. Its good to know that they were all okay out in the snowy conditions; well at least they were on the move 🙂 The snow began to thaw in the afternoon and I am sure they were all as glad about that as the rest of us!