This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. I am a 17 year old young naturalist with a passion for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. I have been blogging since May 2013 and you can read my old blog posts at www.appletonwildlifediary.blogspot.co.uk
One bird I love seeing on my local patch is the Peregrine falcon. It’s not often I get a glimpse of any, but last week there was one being bothered by a Buzzard.
Pigeons make up the main part of a peregrine falcon’s diet, something there is plenty of on my local patch. Although I’m hoping the pair of wood pigeons nesting in the tree outside my window stay safe.
Today it’s finally been raining a decent amount. Not great for taking photos which I was hoping to do as I’ve spotted three hares that are spending time close to me, but great for the wildlife.
When it’s been dry for a while we get a couple of badgers visiting to take a drink. This one always seems to chatter to itself.
With the important aim of inspiring the younger generation to look more closely and appreciate the fascinating world of insects this book is packed full of insect poems edited by Fran Long and Isabel Galleymore.
I met Fran (Mrs Long) back when her son, who is the same age as me, was writing a blog about insects. Through other mutual connections we have shared a few wildlife safaris including a day photographing water voles.
At this time I was interviewed by Fran and got to help out at one of her summer school classes
I couldn’t think of a better person to be putting together a poem collection about insects.
The Bee is Not Afraid of Me is not just about the poems which vary from those that meander their way across the pages to informative ones to funny ones and those that give us in insight to an insect’s life, the book is more than just the poems. Each page has drawings and fascinating insect facts, like ants can lift 6000 times their body weight or butterfly wings were the inspiration behind anti-glare mobile phone screens.
On top of this there is an interview with an entomologist, a guide to writing your own insect poem, project ideas and lots of links to interesting websites.
The Bee is Not Afraid of Me was launch online on Friday 5th March with readings from some of the poets involved. What was great about the launch was getting to hear the poems read out loud especially the two by Anneliese Emmans Dean
A week or so ago a few signs appeared locally that indicated an otter had been visiting.
On the river bank there were a couple of piles of fish scales and on a branch that overhung the river was a pile of spraint.
Otter spraint (poo) contains fish scales, bones and other undigested food. It apparently smells of Jasmin tea but also quite fishy.
As otters are protected as a European protected species (EPS) and are also protected under sections 9 and 11 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to capture, kill, disturb or injure otters (on purpose or by not taking enough care), or to damage or destroy a breeding or resting place (deliberately or by not taking enough care) I thought the best way to confirm the presence of an otter was to use a trail camera.
Otters can have territories or ranges that can vary between 2km and 20 km depending on the availability of food so it was fingers crossed that the otter was going to appear on camera.
After a couple of tries I was really pleased to find the trail camera caught an otter passing by.
You can find out more about my photography and my local patch in Get Your Boots On