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Winter tracks and signs

Saturday, December 30th 2017

Mel decided to come into work with me as a volunteer today with our walk into Foxglove taking much longer than usual on account of all the interesting tracks that distracted us. I can only hope that we have similar conditions for our Tracks and Signs workshop on Wednesday 3rd January.

Although the added snow over night is great for spotting animal tracks, and has made Foxglove look especially festive this morning; it did put a stop to our plans to cut the secret heath.

Instead we have busied ourselves with checking up on the ponies, filling up bird feeders and sweeping out the hides, again being distracted by the many signs left behind in the snow.


  

On our meanderings back and forth we found evidence of pheasants, coots, deer and rabbits before stumbling across a half eaten rosehip. Rosehips are an important food source for many birds, with some prefering the red fleshy exterior, whilst others prefer the nutrient-rich achenes within.

Feeding upon the red flesh of the hips and leaving the seeds, as can be seen in the picture below, is characteristic of thrush species, such as Blackbird, Fieldfare and Redwing.

We were both amused to find signs suggesting that bird watching may not be a hobby of exclusive interest to humans after finding tracks leading all of the way up the steps to the tower hide.


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