Just a few quick notes to show that I’m still here, and I haven’t been killed off by bovine TB or a virulent disease caught from a dead animal by the roadside. But another month has gone by and what’s the closest I’ve got to a badger?
That’s right, the nearest I’ve been to a badger is my shaving brush. And even that isn’t very close (arguably the finest shaving brushes are made from badger hair, but mine isn’t – it didn’t seem right somehow). Anyhow, suffice it to say that I haven’t been near badgers lately.
Actually, this isn’t strictly true. There’s been a couple of road casualties, one of which I had to move off the road. This was an adult female in the spot that I saw a live badger in February last year. The other was in the usual spot for road casualties around here, the big wood where there have been most of the deaths. There must be a very substantial sett in this wood to sustain this number of road casualties over the years.
What else has happened? I got an unexpected parcel through the door the other day. It was a book – ‘Urban Mammals – a concise guide‘ by David Wembridge. It’s published by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and it’s a great book – a thoughtful and informed look at the common, and not so common, urban species, from foxes to bats.
Why did it come through my door? Well, it wasn’t entirely unexpected, to be honest. I was contacted by the Trust a few months ago who had found this blog and asked me if they could use some of my pictures in the book. Of course I was happy to help a worthwhile charity, they used the pictures and in return they sent me a copy of the book. I’m very grateful, and it is a very good book.
What else? There have been a lot of buzzards flying over the house lately – I hear them mewing as I sit in our living room. One day I looked out to see what looked at first sight to be a seagull, but on second glance seemed to be a very pale, almost white, buzzard. It had drifted out of sight by the time I’d dashed in and returned with the camera. There were reports of a white buzzard in the area a while ago, so perhaps this was it?
What else? On the subject of birds, I took Scarlett to the lake at Woburn to feed the ducks today. There’s a family of black swans in residence that are interesting to see. Black swans are introductions from Australia, which fits with them being on an estate lake (and given all the other species the Dukes of Bedford have introduced…). The RSPB website says they rarely breed in the UK, but these ones obviously have done.
Anyhow, after throwing in bread for a good five minutes I looked to the side and there was a heron perched on a tree, quite oblivious to us.
There’s a lesson to me to be more observant next time!
I’ll be back soon – there’s a whole bunch of correspondence I need to catch up on too, so bear with me…