Camera Shy Badger

I captured this badger (Meles meles) during a heavy storm on my Redleaf RD1000 game camera. The previous badger spent a good while licking the camera but this one first hides and then runs off when it detects it. I’ve noticed from experience that members of the Mustelidae family, for example badgers, martens and weasels, can detect or even see infrared. If they can, then what other creatures can also? Perhaps an ultraviolet trail cam would be more effective?

Advertisements

Red Deer Stag Rut Call

Every Autumn, the valley around my village livens up at night as all the giant Carpathian stags bellow out their presence and challenge the other males for dominance of the vast red deer herds. This recording is of a stag and his challengers literally outside my back window.
The sound of a stag in rut, and how it beats its antlers against trees, is often mistaken for sasquatch or bigfoot evidence.
There are no street lights where I live, nor neighbours, so there is zero light pollution. At night it is very very dark and, during a heavy rain storm like this one, the bellowing and banging of the stags is just plain eery. I love it. It is one of the times of the year I enjoy most living where I do. It is so utterly primal.
It’s a shame it was too dark for me to film (I need an IR camera desperately) but enjoy the audio anyway.
Put on some headphones and turn up the volume, then close your eyes and listen to the rain, the wind and these magnificent beasts.

Champignon mushrooms!

Champignon mushrooms!

Finally, we’re starting to see some edible fungi, although still not in any quantities worth mentioning. Winter is fast approaching, which means mushroom season – if there even is one this year – will be short.

We found a couple of rings of champignons (Agaricus bisporus), or the common button mushroom favoured as part of the English breakfast, but most of them were too small to harvest yet. Both rings centered on a big daddy mushroom, as pictured, and then had little baby ones growing a foot or more away. We’ve had plenty of storms and rain over the last week, now we just need some sun to induce fungal growth.

Edible Dormouse in Humane Trap

This is one of my resident Edible Dormice (Glis glis) from the attic. It’s the second one I’ve caught using a cage-type humane trap. They’re not very intelligent, unlike Pine Marten, so a simple piece of salami suffices and there’s no need to disguise the scent of the trap.
This little fellow will be going on a long drive where he’ll be released. They’re extremely cute but they’re very noisy and destructive – many people think their homes are haunted due to the sound of running feet these make above the ceiling. My house sounds like a race track some nights.

A couple of interesting things about Edible dormice – the Romans ate them roasted in honey as a delicacy, and they can regrow their tail like a reptile. They’re also the only member of the Glis genus… That was three things, wasn’t it?

Amazing Immense Eurasian Lynx trailcam footage

I knew there were Eurasian Lynx up in the heavily forested hills surrounding the village but I didn’t expect to find such an immense one wandering around a few hundred metres behind my house. I filmed it in the little wooded gully where I captured badger, pine marten, red squirrel, boar and red deer on the trailcam. It really made me think how often I’ve been kneeling down in the dark and damp with thick tree canopy above me not realising what might be looking down on me. They eat deer…

There’s never been an attack by Lynx on humans though, although they will go for domestic animals such as dogs and sheep (fox is part of their diet).

Eurasian Lynx are much bigger than their North American counterparts and are the third largest predator in Europe (ironically, we get the other two – wolf and bear – wandering around out the back also). They grow up to 130cms in length (only 10cms shorter than a cheetah) and can weigh up to 30 kilos.

The sheer biodiversity of where I live never fails to amaze me.

Parasol Mushroom – start of mushroom season

Parasol Mushroom – start of mushroom season

Last year we had a historic mushroom season. Edible and other fungii grew in unbelievable abundance from the beginning of summer until the start of winter. however, this year is not the same. There are virtually no mushrooms about and it has been forecasted that there won’t be. This is due to two factors – last year it rained all summer and also the fungii basically spored themselves out. it will take years for them to recover in number and strength.

This parasol mushroom (Macrolepiota procera) stood alone where last year there were hundreds.