- 12:54 pm - Tue, Jun 18, 2013
Q: Any idea why foxes are so interested in our kitchen sponges? So weird!
At this time of year foxes will be abandoning their earth and cubs will be sleeping above ground with their parents and going on foraging trips. Like puppies, fox cubs are very playful and will play tug-of-war with objects, chew on them and ‘hunt’ them. Playing is a natural behaviour that helps the cubs to learn vital skills that help them survive in the wild as adults. They are not born with the innate ability to hunt, but must learn this by experimenting with things in their environment. Unfortunately when foxes are living in close proximity to people they often have access to a wide array of ‘play items’ including shoes, gardening gloves, laundry, golf balls and sponges. I do not know why a sponge would be particularly attractive but it may just be something to do with the size and texture.
For all wildlife questions and information, please contact WildCall - Sussex Wildlife Trust’s wildlife information service
fox cubs / Hugh Clark
- 3:18 pm - Wed, Jan 23, 2013
Q: Please can you explain why this pheasant runs at the car and follows us along the lane?
It could be for a number of reasons, here are our best suggestions.
1. As the pheasant was a male, he may have been defending his territory? Male pheasants can be very aggressive because during the breeding season a good territory can attract up to 20 females into a male’s harem (he will mate with them all), so getting a good territory is vital. I think it is a bit early in the year for males to be setting up territories, but possibly this one has got an early start.
2. He might have seen his reflection in the car and thought it was another male? Or maybe he just thought the car in general was a threat.
3. Alternatively he could have just been being a bit dim. Pheasants can fly swiftly but are not able to sustain flight over long distances, this means they prefer to run rather than fly from danger. Maybe he was running away from something else and accidentally headed towards the car?
If you would like to tell Sussex Wildlife Trust about the nature you see please visit the wildlife advice pages on our website www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk
Alternatively if you have a wildlife query ring Sussex Wildlife Trust’s information hotline - WildCall - on 01273 494777.
- 10:10 am - Tue, May 22, 2012
- 1 note
Woods Mill bird survey: 22 May
Author Graeme Lyons
A female cuckoo was skulking in the willows around the reedbed, no doubt looking for a place to lay an egg. We have three reed bunting territories, one nest seems to be in the middle of the reedbed. Strangely we have perhaps double the usual number of reed warbler territories with six compared to the usual three.
Most exciting though is a pair of linnets that were building in scrub on the valley field. A singing male and a female with nesting material are two of the best signs of breeding during a survey!
linnet / Amy Lewis
Woods Mill nature reserve
Springwatch in Sussex
- 2:16 pm - Sun, Dec 11, 2011
Feeding garden birds in winter
Jess Price, Sussex Wildlife Trust’s WildCall Officer talks about the best way to feed & look after your garden birds this winter.
- 4:33 pm - Wed, Dec 7, 2011
7 Top tips for feeding birds this winter
- Don’t give too much. Amounts provided should allow for rapid turnover to reduce the chance of food becoming mouldy or contaminated.
- Natural foods are best but in cold weather good leftovers with a high fat content such as bacon rind, grated cheese, cooked rice and pasta will be beneficial.
- Don’t put out salted nuts, desiccated coconut, highly spiced food or very dry bread.
- Food that has been contaminated with droppings and saliva can be a reservoir for some diseases that affect birds so clean your bird feeder, table and bath regularly with boiling water and disinfectant.
- Always wear gloves when cleaning your feeders. Brushes and equipment used for cleaning bird feeders should not be used for other purposes and should be kept and used outside.
- Many birds die in cold weather due to dehydration as water in bird baths freeze. Remember to put out fresh water everyday and never use any chemicals to de-ice your bird bath
- Supplementary feeding can never provide all the natural proteins and vitamins that birds need so try to also include natural food sources in your garden. Why not plant a native hedgerow or a couple of fruit trees? Let your plants go to seed and don’t prune shrubs until late in winter.
- 4:30 pm - Wed, Oct 19, 2011
- 17 notes
Have you heard an owl?
October, November and December is when tawny owls are at their most vocal. If you spend some time on the edge of woodlands or parks you may be rewarded with the hooting of this mysterious bird.
Although it is our most common owl, their activities mean that they are seldom seen but you may hear the familiar male tawny owl ‘t’whoo’ call and the females ‘keewick’ response.
If you live in Henfield you may be interested in the Henfield Owl Project
Tawny owl calls linked from www.godsownclay.com
- 4:45 pm - Wed, Sep 21, 2011
- 8 notes
Blackberry & Apple Jam Recipe
Blackberry and Apple Jam Recipe
A trebly enjoyable harvest can be had by gathering together a bucket, a flask of your favourite beverage, several pieces of home-made cake and a couple of like-minded friends. Head for the fields and have a lovely convivial afternoon chatting, wildlife watching and blackberry picking. Then, if you have no apples of your own buy, beg or borrow (you return the favour with a pot of produce) a quantity of cooking apples (windfalls are fine).
- Put half quantity of blackberries to roughly chopped apples (skins, pips and all) in a saucepan, barely cover with water and cook to a pulp.
- Strain through a sieve and for every pound of resulting liquid add a pound of granulated sugar.
- Boil rapidly until a blob of liquid dropped onto a cold plate holds its shape and wrinkles when pushed with a finger after a minute or so (about 15 to 20 minutes).
- Pot up in warm recycled jam jars.
- Consume on cold winter days spread liberally over hot buttered toast or crumpets and daydream of idyllic autumn afternoons.
Pick of the Crop blog by Kathy Green
- 3:00 pm - Wed, May 4, 2011
Nom Nom - badger enjoys a midnight feast