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  • Writer's pictureyonten

The Nocturnal World Begins To Open

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

Wildlife Observation Camera

February 2021

I'm beginning to get in this and understand so much. I'm beginning to see how much is going on in the quietness of night. This begins to give a much clearer idea on how we can help these incredible animals we're sharing the property with.

Pine Martens

I was definitely not expecting to see these beautiful beings on the property or their incredible busy-ness around the river bank.

They typically have large territorial areas so it's probably just a single pair that use the property. They probably have a nest in the river bank where they use tree or rock cavities (plenty of those on the river banks).

As they are omnivorous, they'll take whatever they can get; in summer and autumn their diet will mainly be vegetarian (berries, fruits, nuts and small mammals), while for the rest of the year they will hunt for toads, small birds, bird's eggs or small rabbits.

European Badgers

They have been very active on the property, and a sighting in January showed 2 badgers walking together.

They form groups of 6 adults on average, but larger groups are common if food sources are rich. You can see their walking paths worn in longer grass throughout the property. Because of the usual size of their territory and the secluded river bank, there may be 2 groups on the property. This can hopefully be verified in Spring if territorial fighting is seen or heard at night.

We have a chance of seeing cubs at night between mid March and mid May. Probably late April to mid May as the venture further from their setts.

Roe Deer

They stay in or close by secluded woodland during the day and then venture out feeding further during the night. They especially like new grass that appears after rainfall.

Their call can be very similar to a dog's bark, and are sometimes heard from Nalanda.

The deer you see are following a worn route and heading towards the grass area I cut under the large cedar tree close to the river.

Red Fox

Probably living on the undisturbed river banks where they will dig a borrow or the unoccupied land to the southwest of Maitreya Pure Land.

They are usually together in pairs and hunt for small mammals and probably the Coypu that live on the river banks. They will also hunt the Beech or Pine Martens by digging them out of their dens.

The call on the last recording from February is the type to keep contact with another, and it's possible the fox call right at the end is another's reply to the first.

European Rabbit

They are most at home digging their warrens in sandy soil which is far more common at Maitreya Pure Land than next door at Nalanda.

As they don't hibernate for the winter they have to remain active foraging for food throughout the winter months, feeding mainly from roots and tree bark.

I also recently read that the 'International Union for Conservation of Nature' had classified the common European rabbit in Spain, Portugal and France as "Endangered", due to the extent of recent declines.

Field / Wood Mouse

All of the sightings so far came from 1 location during a night with heavy rain. They're probably stuffing themselves with earth worms when they can!

Other than that, their regular diet consists of grass seeds, and (so I found out today) hibernating bats in winter, since they don't hibernate.

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