Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yesterday evening was the final Sussex Wildlife Trust badger watch of the season.  My 2011 100% success rate was maintained with up to 5 badgers out for well over an hour.  They gave a lovely show too; mutual grooming, play-fighting, collecting bedding; it was one of the smoothest and most relaxed I have done.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Emperor Strikes Back!

Two purple emperors came down yesterday to the baiting areas for the Purple Emperors & Woodland Butterflies photographic workshop; a great success and just overwhelming for me to see these magnificent and elusive insects again.
There were also silver-washed fritillaries galore, the woodland glades resembling a scene from the tropics!
The Badger Biology course I ran for Sussex Wildlife Trust yesterday ended in a badger watch with badgers for 2 hours 45 minutes; I think the longest yet and still maintaining a 100% success rate this year.
10 glow-worms on the way out too!

Friday, July 1, 2011

I know its been a long time but it has certainly been the usual busy season at this time of year.  The past month has consisted of badger watching several times each week which has been hugely successful; there are now only 2 Sussex Wildlife Trust watches to go and the pressure is on to maintain the 100% record so far this year!
The cub is now looking quite robust, especially as he is now weaned and feeding quite well for himself, especially now the wood is wetter after all the rain; I think this individual will do well.  He is now pretty much the same dimensions as the adults, but his behaviour is still very cub-like as bounces around the set, with his tail sticking up like a loo-brush.
I also set up a project on a treecreeper nest site which was lovely despite the birds being tricky to capture on camera; they would often land and then be in their nest within a nano-second.  At one stage I had 6 tripods occupied with some piece of kit or other trying to trigger infra-red beams or flash units to get some kind of natural looking shot.  It was good experience, however, and a pure pleasure just being in the hide for hours on end.  The birds fledged last week, leaving just one dead chick behind, which was being crawled over by beetles the last time I checked; all part of the cycle.
It is now woodland butterfly season and I am trying to spot purple emperors again; it's the usual story, laying out stinky stuff and getting a crick in the neck staring up at the canopy, hoping to get a view of their magnificent flight, but especially hopeful that they come down onto the stinking bait.  My first white admiral this year was on the 9th of June, which is the earliest one I have ever seen; due to the weather, probably, I not seen many since!
Finally, it has been nice to see on the way out of the badger watches, up to 3 glow-worms next to the track.  This is about the most I've seen here, so possibly they are increasing, although I am aware that their population can vary from year to year.  A good sign though.