We had a pair of Moorhens nesting on the pond, and then a brood of cute black Moorhenlings (Moorhen chicks). The pond was unusually full for the time of year, so the Moorhenlings were there for quite a while. One of the very few benefits of the incessant rain this year. Before the arrival of the Moorhenlings, the Moorhens actually coexisted with three Mallard ducks for several weeks. The Mallards could be spotted on the pond day and night. They appeared never to sleep, steaming around the pond at any time of the day or night, unlike the Moorhens. The Moorhens disappear back to their nest during the night. For many days we had only one Moorhen, presumably the other was hatching the eggs. At this time the ducks vanished, I presume forced off by the Moothens. We now had a set of baby Moorhen chicks (Moorhenlings).
The Moorhens chicks soon increased in size. You can see them searching the margins of the pond for food, and being offered morsels by their parents. A Heron paid a brief visit. Did any of the Moorhenligs fall prey to its avaricious appetite?
The Moorhen chicks also spent a considerable amount of energy hiking across the fields in search of food. Sometimes we would see them in the garden. Recently I was surprised to find the adults and chicks investigating the badger sett in our Compost Heap. This is a considerable distance from the pond with long grass in between. (We are limiting the grass mowing this year, with a no-mow Summer.)
The camera is moved around different garden sites, trying to spot the most interesting animal movements, and discovering their preferred routes. We had much activity in the Compost Heap in early June. There were two badgers who had taken up temporary residence, one even showing itself during daylight hours. Kindly one badger moved the camera during the night, pointing it more directly down the badger sett. They appeared to move off, and only come back to visit the sett on later days. A large male fox also came visiting. Amazingly not many rabbits appeared in the footage.
The last scene from the video is a badger walking along the bank of the pond, turning around and rushing off.
Over in the field pond, I caught several songbirds on camera while trying to capture foxes, badgers and Moorhens. Here is a Thrush, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Moorhen and Pigeon. The last shots are birds drinking from the pond. I do have a small video of the Moorhen and chicks coming soon.
The location is the field pond. A badger came to visit. You can see the badger trying to step onto the Willow Catkins floating on the pond surface. The bed of vegetation made the pond surface look solid, confusing the badger. The badger tries this a couple of times and then backs off. Next, you see the badger walking behind the pond, one slip and he is in for a dunking in the deepest section of the pond. He then makes his escape through the fence into the neighbouring field.
Over the last week, our fox has made regular visits to the compost heap come rabbit warren. The fox marked its territory as it left. It must have a route – it walks most nights on the prowl for food. Being a country animal, I suspect the fox has to work harder looking for food, no scraps are thrown out to feed on, it has to survive on fresh meat caught by its own guile and ingenuity.
I have yet to see a rabbit and fox in the same short segment of film. The rabbits certainly do know when to disappear. Thankfully, this fox has become less worried about the infrared light from the camera.
We did not see the fox this week. I hope he/she will be back (along with the polecat and a badger or two). We also had a visit by the night time cat prowler. We still don’t know where this beautiful cat comes from. Would we recognise it in the day time? The black and white infrared pictures make it hard to identify, although R thinks it’s a ginger tabby with white socks.