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

October Starlings

On the nearby wires, pylons and chimney pots the Starlings are starting to gather.

During the late afternoon their chattering and squabbling gets louder and louder.

Occasionally one will swoop down to drink from the pond, followed by more and more until the whole pond is alive with splashing. A car drives past and as quickly as they arrived they are back up on the wires.

By early evening they have all gone, probably to join thousands of others from the surrounding area, where they will roost together for the night.

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

Problem solving Woodpecker

How do you open a Hazel nut which keeps rolling around?

This Great Spotted Woodpecker has a smart idea. He frequently brings over a nut, places it in a crack in the telegraph pole to hold it still, before hammering the nut open with his beak.

Great Spotted woodpecker in garden

HazelnutGSWGreat spotted woodpecker ontelegraph pole

Posted in Autumn, birds, garden, Local patch, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Small mammal survey 2018

Last weekend I joined Oxfordshire mammal group on a morning of checking and collecting Longworth traps.

Longworth traps are used in small mammal surveying. They are laid in areas with vegetation and baited with apple for moisture, bird seeds and casters for shrews. Each trap is filled with hay for bedding so the voles, mice or shrews are well provided for while they are in the trap.

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After the traps are collected they are opened in to a clear plastic bag and the hay is gently pulled out.

The food and hay is removed before we could handle the mammal. Once the trap is empty and removed, the animal is gently coaxed in to the corner of the bag and lightly held from the outside. The other hand then firmly grasps the scruff of the neck, inside the bag.

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The animal is quickly sexed and recorded. Except if it is a shrew, in which case it is just recorded.

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The shrews aren’t handled because they are easily stressed.

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The animal is then released back to where it was caught.

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Sometimes they run off in the wrong direction, but quickly find cover or the right way.

(Me staying incredibly still as the bank vole just ran under my foot)

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During the Sunday morning we found 15 Bank Voles, 1 Pygmy shrew, 2 common shrews and 3 wood mice.

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Throughout the whole weekend of surveying the following small mammals were recorded.

P1160169 (2)Over the three days, if 3 male Bank voles were caught 3 time in the same trap then it was only recorded as one, as there was no way of telling whether it was the same bank vole returning each night.

A huge thank you to Oxfordshire mammal group especially Chloe for being so patient while teaching me.

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Posted in Animals, Blogging, Environment, Local patch, mammals, nature, Nature reserve, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, survey, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Lost Words – in photos

The Lost Words – A Spell Book to conjure back disappearing words.

I’m so glad that none of these words have disappeared from my life and I’m fortunate enough to have plenty of photos of each of these Lost Words to choose from.

(Photos taken over the past couple of years)

The Lost Words book

Acorn – Oak trees overhanging the badger sett

Acorns

Adder – the only venomous snake native to Britain

Adder

Bluebells – creating a carpet of Blue

Bluebells

Brambles – Purple stained finger tips

Blackberries

Conkers – a few that survived being squashed by passing cars.

Conkers

Dandelion – plenty of these in my garden

Dandelion

Fern – covering the woodland floor

Woods

Heather – the only photo I have of Heather is one from my garden

Heather

Heron – often seen stealing from local ponds

Heron in Company gardens

Ivy – alive with insects

Hornet

Kingfisher – with the dash of colour they brighten up the local river.

Kingfisher

Skylark – my local farmer encourages skylarks by putting in skylark squares.

Skylark

Magpie, often the bullies when food is around.

Magpie drinking from old dog water bowl

Newt – taken on a photography course with someone who had a licence.

Newt

Otter – spotted while kayaking on holiday in Norfolk

Otter

Raven – often sits on the pylon near my houseRaven 1

Starling – Starling murmurations that take place each winter at Otmoor

Starlings 1

Weasel – quickly darting with prey across the road

Weasel with prey

Willow – The willow lined River Thames

willow

Wren – as it hops between the brambles and fallen trees

Wren

Posted in Animals, birds, Blogging, Books, Local patch, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, The Lost Words, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments