Sunday, 11 March 2012

A quick Badger about

A beautiful sunny March morning and rising to 14C by mid morning and 16.3C by mid-day.
I checked last night's trap which had three new moths for the year first thing - several Common Quaker and Early Grey and a single Twin-spotted Quaker, as well as 3 Oak Beauties and a few Hebrew Character. 

Early Greys

Twin-spot Quaker

A walk through South Burn Woods took much longer than usual trying to identify the mosses on the tree trunks and ground.There was a good amount of bird song and Nuthatch were displaying and a Carrion Crow was nest building,  thanks to that little bit extra warmth.

From here I wandered onto the fell proper, a bit relucantly really as it seemed that every dog in the area had dragged it's master out this morning for an early walk and MOST of them I am sorry to say were leaving their dog business behind for me to stand in.
It's been several years since I have seen a live Badger here, though I know they are still present as I often see the evidence around a few setts I am aware of. This morning I found a new (at least to me, I had never noticed it before) Badger sett. I was already sitting down nearby having a coffee when I noticed it and was totally unprepared to see a Badger poke it's head out and then disappear again. I quietly got my camera out but it never reappeared.
Two Great-spotted Woodpeckers were drumming in South Burn Wood, as well as the ever present one by the house, and yet another on the Fell. It seemed ideal for a Green Woodpecker to 'yaffle' but one never did and I am now thinking they may be gone from here completely. 2 Curlew were displaying nearby and a Willow Tit was heard calling,  then all went silent as a Sparrowhawk rushed through. Several Bumblebee sp.  were seen or heard during the morning but none to get a positive id.
Common Ramping-fumitory
In Felledge Wood, at least 40 of the day-flying micro moth Tortricodes alternella were about in a small area and probably 100s were on the wing throughout the wood. A few 7-spotted Ladybirds were around, following on  from one in the garden yesterday. Other invertebrates here included a Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata) that walked over the path and my first Honey Bee of the year.
A few flowers are starting to appear, including Common Ramping-fumitory (Fumaria muralis ssp boraei)

Crack Willow coming into leaf against a lovely blue sky ... spring?
and the Crack Willows in the woods are now coming into leaf. Spring is marching on ... hopefully.

After a good while, identified another 3 species of moss, it's hard work, but I'll persevere. They were Common Pincushion Moss, Marsh Bryum and Elegant Bristle-moss.

Marsh Bryum


  1. I'll have to take some moss pics from Harwood Forest, some of them look good but I haven't a clue what they are!

  2. Nigel - I'm still very much a keen beginner and they are certainly not easy. But with a bit of practice you never know. Remember what phylloscopus were like when you first started birding. I hope bryophytes turn out the same.