Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Again, it was bitterly cold with a strong NE wind and a number of snow flurries today. However, the birds need feeding even more in this weather, so I dropped in for a short while.
I did manage to repair the roof on one of the bird hides; its been leaking right above the nets that hang around the viewing hatches. Its a job I've been meaning to do for a few weeks now but the weather combined with not running many workshops at Scrag over the past few weeks has meant that there is always something else to do. Anyway, its done now.
Interestingly, there's been a couple of roe deer along the stream every time I've visited over the last week and an animal that surprised me, a mink! This may cause problems at the kennels as they also have chickens; a mink will often take chickens and is even more sneaky than a fox, though the fox normally gets the blame.
I also saw my first woodcock of the winter. Last year, in the winter, I would regularly see woodcock, well, a rear-end view at least as I put them up from the leaf litter. I have only very rarely watched these birds undisturbed; the normal sighting is when they make me jump out of my skin taking off right from under my feet. I think the woodcock I see at Scrag are mainly continental birds over-wintering here. I think it would be a difficult job for a ground-nester to raise a clutch in such badger-rich woodland and I never seem to find them in the summer.