Last Saturday was quite a busy day in terms of getting outside and surrounded by nature. As you’ll see from my latest post, I was on a fungi foray in the morning with my local wildlife group then in the afternoon I was at the National Memorial Arboretum with their Wildlife Watch group, which I’m one of the leaders of.
The Wildlife Watch group here have monthly sessions and at each one they do a different activity. On Saturday Derek Crawley from the Mammal Society came along. He was a real star guest and introduced the group to the world of small mammals and trapping them for conservation purposes (to record and let free again).
On Saturday we had the regular attendees of the group along with the local cubs so there was quite a lot of us but it all ran smoothly and everyone was learning something new along with having a great time!
Around 40 traps were set up the night before in the intention of trapping small mammals such as voles, mice and shrews, and so we did! After we emptied the trap the children were able to have a look at what had been caught before it was released. Data of what was caught was also added to the records for this site.
As you may have seen from my latest blog last Friday night I filmed some badger cubs at a local sett for the first time this year. The Saturday before I had set my cameras up and there was no sign of any cubs so when I filmed them on the following Friday night that was obviously one of the first times they’d emerged from the sett this year.
I was very pleased with the footage as not only is it extremely cute but it shows a variety of behaviour. From the cubs playing and fighting with each other to a few clips of the adult badgers having a comical scratch. As I didn’t get back from the Badger Trust Seminar until late on Saturday I put my trail camera back up on Sunday evening then collected it before school the next morning. It was great to collect it before school as it was a fantastic start to the day due to it being a beautiful morning, there were swallows about and I was really excited to see what I got on my trail camera!
Once again it was good stuff. This time I’d put the camera lower down so the cubs were much more curious and I managed to get some great footage.
It’s also really interesting to compare my footage to that I got this time last year. A year ago, almost to the day, I filmed three cubs at the same sett so they were a bit later then this year but not much. You can see last years footage by clicking here.
Here’s some of my favourite clips from last weekend –
As I’ve been off for the last two weeks I’ve made the most of it and tried to get out as much as I can. Whether it be on my local patch, nature reserves or setting my trail camera up. Unfortunately I have some important exams approaching so I’ve had to make time to revise for them too.
However a few nights ago I returned back to a badgers sett which I hadn’t filmed at since last Autumn. This time last year I managed to film a few of the adults but it wasn’t until the end of the month when the cubs first appeared. When I collected my trail camera on Sunday morning it was pretty much the same, adults but no cubs yet. I set two cameras up, one of my normal ones that I use and a new one which my Dad has been working on recently. It works through something called a Raspberry Pi, not an actual pie but a type of computer. He then added the camera, motion detector and then printed out a case with his 3D printer. It’s very clever and it was great to try it out for the first time. Unfortunately It didn’t go completely to plan but he’s made some adjustments and we’re going to set it up again soon.
Here’s some of the footage I got. It includes badgers and a tree climbing rat. I hope to film the cubs in the upcoming weeks.
Last night I set my trail camera up on my school field again to record some fox cubs. Like the other night I got some super footage and managed to record some great behavior. Last time I filmed three cubs altogether but last night I recorded four. They were a lot more confident this time too and even had a go at controlling the trail camera themselves!