Day 10 of 30 days Wild – learning about badger setts

This morning I was involved with my local badger group Oxon badger group to help teach people about how to recognise a badger sett and other signs.

We were very kindly allowed to use Wytham woods near Oxford for the training.

During the morning everyone got a chance to see an active badger sett, look for foraging paths and latrines, as well as finding snuffle holes and badger hair caught on wire.

Oxon Badger Group is trying to record all the badger setts around Oxfordshire, so the purpose of the training course today was to show people not only how to find a badger sett but how to log the grid reference and what to file in the report.

If you find a badger sett, please do not put it out on social media but report it (in confidence) to your local badger group.

In Oxfordshire settrecords.oxonbadgergroup@gmail.com

Information to report

  • Grid reference number eg SP 12345 12345
  • signs of activity, eg spoil, latrine, foraging path
  • number of holes
  • details about location, eg hedgerow, side of road or near stream
  • nearby recognisable mark, eg under oak tree, near pylon
  • any other details that you feel would be helpful to re-find the sett.

 

 

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Day 9 of 30 Days Wild – update on rescued seal

Last week we visited Horsey Beach in Norfolk to see the seals.

We noticed that one of the seals had rope around its neck, so my mum reported it to Friends of Horsey seals, along with other kind people who also reported it.

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Rope and trail of netting

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The seal was rescued the following day and taken to RSPCA East Winch.

He was very underweight caused by dragging the weight of rope and fishing line around behind him. He is now having lots of antibiotics and salt baths.

I hope he makes a full recovery.

You can support him by donating salt through an Amazon Wish list

Amazon wish list for salt

Here is the news clip of his rescue.

Video on rescued seal

There is also another seal with netting caught around its neck, but that one is proving difficult to catch

Still from video of seal with netting

Still from video of seal with netting

The seal with the orange tag is one that has been previously rescued and released. You can see the scar around its neck.

Seal with tag

Seal with tag

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Day 8 of 30 Days Wild – Visit a nature reserve

Your local nature reserve is a great place to relax and watch wildlife.  Each nature reserve usually has its own specialist species.

We visited Strumpshaw Fen which is well known for the Swallowtail butterfly.

Strumpshaw Fen is located near Norwich, Norfolk, and has a wide range of wildlife and habitats.

The three main habitats are reed beds, woodland and meadows. This supports a variety of creatures including birds such as Marsh Harrier’s, Bittern’s and Cetti’s warbler. Mammals such as Water Voles and Chinese Water Deer and insects including the Swallowtail butterfly and the Norfolk hawker dragonfly.

While we were there I managed to see the Swallowtail butterfly, which is the largest butterfly in the UK, as wells as one of the rarest.

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Day 7 of 30 days Wild – Trip down the river

Being on a boat and travelling at only 4mph is a great way to pass a few hours and look out for wildlife.

As we slowly passed down through part of the Norfolk Broads we came across a Yellow wagtail (a first for me), as well as a couple of ducks who hitched a ride for a mile or more.

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Day 6 of 30 Days Wild – Visit a bird hide

A very productive afternoon spent in a bird hide in Norfolk where we spotted a couple of Marsh Harriers and two Common Cranes flying over.

Common Cranes can be seen passing through many parts of Britain in Spring and Autumn but can be seen all year in Norfolk. The Common Crane has a wingspan which can be from 1.8 meters to 2.2 meters which makes it one of Europe’s largest birds.

Another awesome sighting was the Marsh Harrier. Marsh Harriers had become extinct during the end of the 19th century throughout the UK, due to persecution and habitat loss. However during the 1970’s occasional nesting pairs returned to the East of England and there has been a steady increase of nests ever since. Today there are more than 100 nesting females just in Norfolk.

Besides the two major highlights I got to see a wide variety of waterfowl and even heard the amazing booming Bittern

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Day 5 – 30 days Wild – Feed the ducks

For Day 5 of 30 Days Wild, a simple and fun activity.

Feeding the Ducks is an all round family favourite and in the past was done with bread.

The problem with bread is besides it having NO nutritional value, it can lead to serious illness and even a illness called ‘angel wing’.

Angel wing is a condition in water birds that can be caused by too much carbohydrates and/or deficiency in vitamin E, vitamin D or manganese, mainly in developing birds between 8 to 12 weeks old. The weight of the growing feathers causes rotation of the wing tip, the feathers twist upwards giving it the name angel or aeroplane wing.

DON’T FEED DUCKS BREAD.

There are alternatives to bread. Ducks can be fed corn, lettuce, cabbage, oats, peas and the specially prepared Duck Food.

Greylag geeseDuck food

Close up goosling

Gosling eating natural diet of grass

Swan and cygnets

Feeding swans

mallard and ducklings

friendly ducks

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Day 4 – 30 days Wild – Beach clean

Disposable lighters, plastic bottles, baby dummies, balloons, coffee cups and micro plastics were all amongst the items my family and I picked up from Horsey beach in Norfolk.

It was great to see that quite a few other people were doing the same thing, but what would be better is if people didn’t drop the rubbish in the first place.

It was heartbreaking to sit and watch this seal playing with a pair of sunglasses.

Seal and sun glasses

Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild

Posted in 2 minute beach clean, 30 Days Wild, Blogging, coast, mammals, nature, photography, plastic waste, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments