Two weeks ago i headed back over to Hereford in the late afternoon , as by now most of the crops have been harvested and hopefully the Hares in the area would be easier to see, as it turned out – seeing them was easier but they saw me easier too ! Spotting them in the field was no problem and using the stacked bales to hide my approach worked too , but always aware of the noise of the stubble under foot as you approach your never sure the Hare hasn’t heard you and left. this time that was mostly the case with the Hare moving away as i got closer or popping up in a different position . These photos are from some outings i did earlier in the year as this outing didn’t go quite to plan.
Never mind there’s always next time.
Kicking up the mud
Reducing all colours except orange
The RSPB have a design for Tawny Owl nest boxes , so i made one three years ago and set it up in a mature Ash tree , Nothing nested in it year one and the next year only a Great tit made use of it.
The design which is basically a tall plywood box with a hole in the top , mimics a natural hole in a tree or snapped tree limb , but being plywood its smooth – giving no grip for the Owl , making getting out difficult , the young leave the nest before they’re fully fledged so only have their talons to climb out. So i took down the box and re sited it on its side, nailing a 3″ x 2″ piece of wood across the base of the entrance – for a perching spot. I also threw a hand full of leaf mould and small sticks in.
Nest box now sited on its side
The result was this year three eggs were laid and two youngsters left the nest – Result !
Two healthy chicks
Thought i’d give this theme a go ! Not sure about it yet !
Following up on my previous Vole encounter , i tried again , equipped with an apple and camera i settled down to try an get some eye level images of these energetic mammals.
Rule 1 when sitting and waiting – Check out what your sat on , as last time i sat on a Red Ants nest ! the little red sods get everywhere . So this time after checking around i settled down to wait with a half apple at the base of the reeds opposite. Surprisingly it took only twenty minutes for a large adult to turn up and then promptly pick up the apple and shoot off .
I resorted to plan B and only had to wait about another hour before two younger voles turned up and stayed around for a bit , before disappearing with a plop when a large brown rat ambled past.
Back a few weeks ago while watching these voles another aquatic mammal turned up – a water shrew , first time i’d ever seen one , it was a bit dark but i managed to get a quick shot of it parting the duckweed and peering into the reen.
Earlier this year , around may , i’d tried to photograph Water Voles with no luck . Last month i tried again with better results , it taken quite a few outings to get to understand some of their behaviour , Starting with watching them munching through apples on floating rafts , then looking for areas that had some light at a particular time of day and then getting the voles to appear at that spot .
I wanted to try to see them in a more natural environment and with a bit of patience found an area where i could get closer to water level and their level.
One day i had put half an apple in the shallow water opposite where i was positioned , it sank under the duck weed out of sight ,i thought that it was wasted, but the vole still found it , its sense of smell must be amazing ! you can also see them become aware of you if the wind changes and blows off you onto them ,they normally retreat into the reeds.
Water Voles love apples