Tag Archives: wildlife

Wildlife is present in the UK not only in the countryisde but also in towns and cities. It’s not uncommon to see animals such as foxes and hedgehogs in gardens, especially where there is woodland nearby, but you can also find other animals such as badgers and even deer.

Our New Wildlife Category

A fox in our gardenWe recently purchased a trail camera so that we could find out for sure what wildlife was visiting our garden at night, and the videos that we have got made me thing that maybe it’s time to write and tell you about it, and to create a new Wildlife category on our site.

Even though we life in the city, well on the outskirts of a city, it really is amazing just how many different creatures we share our garden with.

We knew that as well as the many types of wild birds that come to our feeders, that we had foxes, but in the last few months something began digging in a flower bed in such a way that we were convinced that it was a Badger. However, because of the location and the fact that this occurred at night, we had no actual proof.

With a big birthday coming up for me, and my having no idea what to ask for a present, we both decided that it might be a good idea to get a wildlife camera so that we could solve the mystery of the night time digger once and for all.

We did some research on trail cameras, and finding one that we liked, and which was also in our price range, we made our purchase, and Amazon delivered it in 2 days.

Eager to put the camera to use, we strapped it to the drainpipe at one corner of the house, went to bed and eagerly waited to see what we had captured.

Well I half expected to have set the camera up wrong, but to my surprise there were a number of photographs and videos on the memory card, and we not only caught the neighbour’s cats pooping in the garden, we caught a Fox and also a Badger.

We had seen foxes in the front and back garden numerous times before, they are always tripping the security lights, but we had never managed to photograph them before, so this video, the 3rd on the camera, had us almost jumping with joy.

But then, who should appear later that night, but our mystery visitor, who did indeed turn out to be a Badger!

Debbie had been leaving peanuts out for the Badger, but as you can see in the video above, not only were the peanuts too close to the camera, but the camera was set too high.

We did however get a better view of the Badger after he had finished feeding, and he wandered all along the flower bed, deciding which of the “many” holes he would use for his toilet.

These are the highlights of what our wildlife camera captured on the first night, so as you can tell we were really ecstatic over what the camera had achieved in just one night.

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Coming soon:  More wildlife videos, and more information on our wildlife camera and tips for using one.

A New Forest Walk

On Monday as the weather looked to be nice, we wandered over to Debbie’s Mum and Dad’s for a brief visit, as I hadn’t seen them since I was last in the UK, and then took a trip out to our favourite spot in The New Forest to take a walk.   Our plan was to re-trace the walk that we did back in April, when we saw several white deer, but it involved trecking way off the main paths and heading off into parts of the forest that only rangers usually go into.  However, we really enjoyed our walk last time, and wanted to try and find the same places again.

Our walk started from a car park on the Ornamental Drive, which leads up to Rhinefield House, a 5 star hotel that used to be owned by Richard Branson (and maybe still is).  The Ornamental Drive is lined with Rhododendron bushes on both sides, and for a short time in the spring it’s lovely, however this is early August and not a flower in sight.

We headed out and had no problem re-tracing our previous journey, except that three months more into the summertime the ferns had fully grown, so it was not always so easy to determine where we went before, however we managed ok.

At one point where we came close to a fence line, we stood deciding which way we needed to go through an area where the grass was longer.   Suddenly, out of a grassy mound not 20 feet from where we were standing, a pheasant flew up into the air, giving us both a start.   We looked at each other, and started to talk about it, when all of a sudden there was a second, then a third, and a fourth, all not 20 feet from where we were, but we hadn’t seen them at all in the grass as they were so well camouflaged.

From here the grass got a bit longer, and it was hard to always find a way to go where we could avoid it.  Since Debbie is mortally afraid of snakes, and the forest is known to have a lot of adders, the most poisonous snake in the UK, she was rather concerned.  However we didn’t see a single one, nothing scary, and found our way quite easily up several little used paths, across a fence, over an old wooden bridge, and we came to a clearing where the previous time we had seen several horses and all of our deer.

Approaching the clearing through some trees we saw a few deer, but they saw us first, and headed away before we could take any decent photographs.   So we carried on to the clearing, seeing no wildlife, and decided to wander into the woods at the far end of the clearing, where we sat on a fallen tree to wait for some deer to hopefully arrive.

Well, we waited and waited, waited some more, trying not to move too much, trying to keep quiet, and eventually after what mist have been close to 30 minutes, our patience was rewarded by about a dozen deer coming close, led by one of the white deer.

They didn’t come as close as we would have liked, so eventually we made a move and started walking towards them, which caused them to move away, however we did get close enough for me to take some video, while surprisingly because of the amount of zoom that was needed, Debbie also got some nice photographs.   We tried to follow the deer for about 1/4 mile, but it was obvious that they wouldn’t be coming closer, so we decided to head on to the next leg of our journey.

We hadn’t gone very far when a family of ponies came along, and as we approached, one of the two foals walked right up to me, within a few feet, before turning around and going back to feeding.   The whole experience was so nice, because there were no sounds of other people around, in fact no sounds of human life at all, which was really nice.

The last leg of the journey took us a different way back, since we had to cross a stream using a fallen log, and then had to find our way back to the car park, which was about a mile away,  through an area of woodland that had huge clumps of ferns, boggy patches, and the only pathways were those that had been made by animals not people.  But we succeeded, and ended up back close to the ornamental drive, the car park and then home.

Below you will find some of the photos that Debbie took, and I hope you also enjoyed my video clips.   Clicking on any of the photos in the gallery will display the full size image.

The End Of A Short Era

Deer Creek Country Club Deerfield Beach FloridaTomorrow I head back to work, starting a new contract after three months of being unemployed, and so apart from weekends, today marked the last time I expect to be able to take my morning walk around Deer Creek.

I have really enjoyed getting out of bed in the morning, and heading out around the lakes and golf course at Deer Creek to stretch my legs, listen to the birds chirping, and to watch the wildlife and trees.  There is always something different to see every time I take a walk, and I will really miss it.  At least I should have one weekend day when I can take my walk (the other I see my daughters and take them for breakfast, so no time).

I also still hope to go walking most evenings, which I also enjoy, and it’s different, especially in the dark.  Of course now with Summer here it doesn’t get dark until late.  Going out for a walk at 8pm even a few weeks ago would provide you with an awesome clear sky full of stars.  Now the sun still hasn’t set by that time.

Well it looks as if my Squidoo Lens about my walks around Deer Creek has started a trend.  Today Clouda9 published a lens about a Walk On Our Country Road, a lovely tour of the rural area where she lives, and it’s so different to Deer Creek, being out in the countryside.

I hope many more people will think about doing this.  It’s so nice to see the places where people live, so inviting to stroll along with them on a virtual tour of their favorite places to go walking, and nice to see the photographs of these special places.   So if you think you might like to do this, let me know.  Just stroll out, camera in hand, create a lens or a blog post, and I will write about it.   Maybe we can acquire a nice collection of these as time goes on.   If nothing else, these will make great memories in years to come, something to hand down to the children and grandchildren.

Patricia Sanders (aka Jewelsofawe) also has a great lens about being out on her sister-in-laws farm.  Take a look at Out On The Farm and see if you feel envious of the beautiful scenery.  She also created a lens that gives a wonderful virtual tour of her Garden Of Veggies – the Apple Pie looks delicious.

In An English Country Garden

As some of you know, I have recently moved into a new little house.  With the new little house, comes a new little garden.  The garden is unfortunately rather bare with a sad looking lawn, a couple of  lopped tree trunks, some shrubs, a few fence panels and a washing line.  There is also a strange looking decking area with a picnic bench to liven things up.  To one side of the garden, the boundary is edged with laurel bushes… is that bushes or trees?  Not sure, but it makes a very dense bush.

When I left my ex, I moved into a flat (apartment) as that was all I could afford.  I felt so closed in and really missed just being able to open the door and wander out.  I was so excited to have a garden again.

In no time at all, I had spotted a squirrel running around and burying things in the lawn.  I started putting peanuts out to encourage him.  Having just moved in and all the expenses that brings, I didn’t have any spare cash to go and buy elaborate feeders from the garden center, so I improvised and dropped the peanuts down on the decking.  The squirrel soon found his new dinner table and would happily come to visit and then bury his newly found stash.  He would even run up the lopped tree trunks and sit on the top looking out across the neighbouring gardens.  I fell in love with that little chap… well, not so little actually.  He was probably one of the fattest squirrels I’ve ever seen!

Then came the fateful day that I didn’t replenish the dinner table.  The squirrel was obviously determined to get every last scrape of peanut that was left..  He was so determined in fact, that he gnawed a chunk of decking away in his efforts to get to the tiny pieces that had fallen between the planks of decking…   oh dear…    So the dinner table moved to a paving slab.

The birds soon found the peanuts and treats too.  I was so excited to see all the different types of birds visiting MY little garden.  There were Robins, Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Sparrows, Chaffinches to name a few.  Ok, the occasional Magpie and Wood pigeon stopped by too… but they’re not so pretty, so I ignore them.

Then Christmas arrived, and so did Tony.  Via Tony, Santa gave me a Squirrel feeder and a fancy bird feeder all the way from America WOO HOO!!!   My Mother had also given me a bird feeder which was waiting to be put up, so there was Tony, the day after Christmas in the freezing fog, putting up feeders around the garden for me.  We visited the local garden center to buy a variety of seeds and then filled each feeder very carefully.  We also bought a plastic dish so that the ground feeding birds could enjoy coming to my garden too.

In no time at all, the robin and blue tits and all the other birds had found their new source of food and were happily feeding away.  No sign of that fat, overfed, deck gnawing squirrel though.  I was so happy to be attracting the wildlife into my garden and even though it was bitterly cold, I could sit in the lounge with my nose pressed against the window and watch all these wonderful little creatures feeding in my garden.  Hey, I even got up around 2 am one night when next doors security light came on to see if a fox had triggered it.

So, a new variety of wildlife finally came to my garden.  What was it?  I hear you cry!  A fox?  No.  A badger?  No.  A Hedgehog? No.  What do I get?  I get the worlds largest ever rat, and not only do I get a rat, I get a rat that decides to die in my garden… the audacity of it!!!  Thank goodness Tony found it and not me… you’d have heard the scream all the way across the pond LOL!!  Have we given it a formal burial?  Have we heck… it’s in the dustbin (garbage) waiting to be collected tomorrow 😉

I’ll let you know when Tubby the  squirrel returns.