Badger Bones

A couple of weeks ago I found the remains of a dead badger. Not much, a few hairs and a pile of bones.

With the close proximity of the badger to my local sett I’m guessing that this badger belonged to my local clan. I don’t think it was anything suspicious but I’m interested to find out which badger is missing.

Over the summer I don’t see the badgers as regularly as I do in the Spring, so there are a few I haven’t seen for a while.

I’ve had the trail camera out and spotted Arrow, Pirate, Stick and a few others, including one of this years cubs but not Bog or the twins.

Skull A belongs to the badger I found, whereas Skull B is one I found over a year ago. I did a blog on skull B last year   https://appletonwildlifediary.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/badger-skull/

I put a call out on social media and I had some helpful replies, including photos, statistics and diagrams of skull, teeth and pelvic bone measurements which will hopefully help me gauge the sex and age of the badger. I’ve already had a suggestion that it could be a subadult female, which I think means it could be one of last years cubs, rather than any of the adults that I have got to know well over the past few years.

I’m going to spend sometime over the weekend looking closely at the bones as well as more trail camera footage to see if I can get any closer to finding out who is missing.

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UK Blog Awards: Nature and Wildlife

 

Vote for my blog

 You can vote for my blog here 

VOTE HERE

 

I’m really pleased to get through to the second stage of the UK blog awards.

This year they have included the category: Nature & Wildlife.

I’m up against some amazing blogs and people I admire, but I would be really grateful for a vote 🙂

Thank you!

Posted in Animals, Blogging, Environment, Every child wild, Local patch, mammals, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, trail camera, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Badger Trust Symposium 2018

Saturday 10th November was this years Badger Trust Symposium.

Conferences or symposiums are a fantastic way to learn more about a group, species or organisation.

The day started off with a couple of talks about Bovine TB coming from speakers such as Debbie Bailey who does fantastic work on badger vaccinations, Professor Malcolm Bennett from University of Nottingham. As well as David Drew MP and Berwyn Clarke (CEO PBD Biotech).

It was interesting to hear about the pros and cons of the different types of tests for bTB and the different spoligotypes and how they are dispersed across the country.

After a short break the most inspiring and heartbreaking talk of the day was on wildlife crime. It is always quite hard to listen to how much wildlife crime goes on. The panel was made up with Mark Jones (Born Free Foundation), Bob Elliot (OneKind), Martin Simms (League Against Cruel Sports), Inspector Louise Hubble (National Wildlife Crime Unit), Craig Fellows (retired police wildlife crime officer). Chaired by Dominic Dyer (CEO Badger Trust)

During lunch it was great to catch up with some familiar faces and get a chance to meet new people.

The most engaging talk was straight after lunch by Iain McGill, who has been campaigning on the news this week  after he accused DEFRA of telling ‘barefaced lies’ about the effectiveness of the recent badger cull.

You can read more here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46150548

After a lecture about the impact of HS2 rail project on badgers, came Pauline Kidner from Secret World. Pauline is always a great speaker and it’s compelling to listen to her talk about her experience in looking after badgers.

Already looking forward to the next one.

Posted in Animals, Badgers, Environment, mammals, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife Crime | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Autumn colours

Autumn is a time for spectacular colours, the oranges, reds and yellows suddenly burst through just as the countryside seems to be getting dull and grey.

At the end of a dark and damp afternoon I went for a walk in to my local woods. I was accompanied by the constant rattling call of the newly arrived flocks of Fieldfares.

I’m quite pleased with how using a flash brought out the colours of the fungi and fallen leaves.

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As the sun was setting a large flock of Starlings flew over, probably off to join the murmuration at Otmoor.

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Posted in Autumn, birds, Blogging, Environment, Fungi, Local patch, nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Fallow deer rescue

Yesterday morning my dad spotted a young Fallow deer in a field that was limping.

Each time the deer took a couple of steps she fell over, lay down for a moment, then struggled to get up, took another step and fell over.

The deer was obviously in quite a bit of pain and in a fair amount of trouble.

Even though it was my mums birthday and we had promised her a lay-in, we gathered what equipment we could and headed out to see what we could do.

The deer was exactly where my dad had last seen it, as with such a badly injured leg it wasn’t going far.

The four of us quietly approached from different sides, but the deer scrambled under a bramble bush. As slowly and as quietly as we could we enclosed around it and my mum lay an old towel over its head, then a second towel underneath its body which calmed it down.

The deer was then gently placed in to our very large dog crate which was on top of the trolley we use to take stuff down to the beach.

The trolley was a stroke of genius as it has huge rubber wheels which made the 1/2 mile trek across the field to the waiting car, quite easy.

The deer is now recovering at a local wildlife hospital and mum managed to have an uneventful rest of the day.

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By the time we had got to the animal hospital the deer had taken off the towels

 

Posted in Animals, Blogging, nature, outdoors, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife Rescue | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Book review – Bobby the brown long- eared bat

A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with Angela Mills on Twitter about bats and the Bat Conservation Trust. She very kindly sent me a copy of her book ‘Bobby The Brown Long-eared bat’.

As this book is aimed at early readers and their families I enlisted the help of William, a young wildlife and dinosaur enthusiast. (Big Ben Garrod fan)

William, a bat lover aged 9, really liked the book, especially the bat facts and thought the way the facts were woven into the story were the best bit.

“The book reminds me of the time when my Granny had a bat in her house and she had to be very brave and let it out. Maybe that was Bobby!”

William and I talked about us both having bats in our back gardens and we discussed ways in which we could help our local bats.

After looking up Brown Long eared bats on the Oxon Mammal Group website we found we might actually have them on our local patch.

Brown Long-eared bats are a medium bat with a wing span of up to 285mm, weighing around 6- 12g. Their habitat includes woodland, parklands and urban areas, farmland, with their roost sites being in building such as churches and barns, as well as trees and bat boxes.

For information on bats visit Bat Conservation Trust

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Posted in Animals, Blogging, Books, Environment, Every child wild, Local patch, mammals, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pocket Pals App – Youth ambassador

If you haven’t heard of Pocket Pals App click here and head over to their website.

Along with 4 other amazing young wildlife enthusiasts, Youth Ambassadors

we aim to encourage more young people to engage with the natural world around them.

Posted in Animals, Environment, Local patch, mammals, outdoors, trail camera, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments