Today I was assisting at an undergrad field course ringing session. Normally in Wytham we ring in the winter, using short lengths of mist nets around feeders with the aim to specifically catch and mark great/blue tits. But today we set up many more nets dispersed randomly around the woods, and unsurprisingly we caught many species that I've never before handled! This included lots of summer migrants, such as blackcap, whitethroat and chiffchaff, but most excitingly this sparrowhawk!! We ringed the individual nice and efficiently and, as always, without any harm to the bird..
Fieldwork has been very full on recently, and with lots of chicks hatching it shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. So I made sure to make the most of probably one of my last half-days off in a while by scouting out a fox den!
Less than a week ago, I saw movement in the distance in an area of scrub that borders the edge of Bean wood (where my fieldwork is). Looking through my binoculars I could make out three fox cubs that only looked 6-8 weeks old, and so they would have only just started venturing out of their den. So today I crept into the area where I suspected the den to be, and after a bit of searching spotted two fox cubs sunbathing! I continued to stalk very slowly, and without them noticing me a third came out of the den.
It had to have been one of my favourite experiences with wildlife for a while. Occasionally the cubs noticed I was there, but they seemed much more interested as opposed to scared (particularly of my camera shutter!). In all, I was with them for about an hour - I’ve put together a selection of my favourite photos from the session!
Not very good photos at all but I was really pleased to hear and see this garden warbler during my fieldwork today! They have a really beautiful song, similar to a blackcap's but a little longer and lower (at least in this case!). Although it doesn't look like the most exotic bird, it's always nice to have a close encounter with a species that you've never been close to before!
A blog of my ideas, photography and research of the natural world.