Sunday 5 February 2012

February in Little Linford Wood

For this month's post about Little Linford Wood, you may detect a subtle but significant difference from the photographs taken in January. As reported in yesterday's post, all the wildlife action seemed to be taking part outwith the wood, with a bias towards mammals, rather than birds.

There weren't any picnickers today, in fact, ours was the first vehicle along the track. Can't think why?

Winter has arrived late in these parts and is keen to make up for it. The switch from unseasonably mild to more typically cold will only add to the confusion that has been a constant puzzle for Mother Nature for over a year. As a pollination medium, I doubt that snow is the preferred option for many plants.

Source: Our Lass
Our wander through the wood was to the soundtrack of a steady crump, crump, crump, crump  from our boots and the gentle swish of snow being shed from the branches. We heard the calls of Nuthatch, Marsh Tit and Great Spotted Woodpecker, plus the occasional chack, chack from Fieldfare flying overhead.

Whilst there was no more snow forecast to fall, the sky had that heavy, glowering feel that makes you think that it's only being held up by the outspread fingers of the bare trees as they strain to support its weight.

The paths and rides were criss-crossed with the tracks made by the creatures of the wood; Fox, Rabbit, Hare, Muntjac deer and Pheasant. Though our attention was drawn to one particular paw print that we weren't expecting to see, Badger.

I've always thought that Badgers hibernate, probably due to reading Kenneth Grahame's 'Wind in the Willows' as a lad, but it turns out that they merely have a winter torpor, as the Badgerland website explains. So I'm guessing that this character was merely nipping out for a quick pee before returning to the sett for some more quality slumber time. Sweet dreams, Brock, me old mate, don't have nightmares. Especially about government-sponsored culls.


holdingmoments said...

Very wintery today Graeme. The wood looks deserted.
Hope Brock survives the winter, and has a long and happy life.

Imperfect and Tense said...

At least it was warmer than yesterday, Keith! Just not much warmer. We only met three people this morning, but unfortunately, one of those was in charge (hah!)of two dogs not on a leash. The badger debate is such a mess, each side claiming to have the science to back their case. I worry that we won't stop until we've eradicated every other living creature in the land.

Spadger said...

Graeme - lovely atmospheric shots (including the good ladies) - really captures the winters scene in the wood. Those little hazel catkins look amazing supporting that great lump of snow! It seems like there's even more mammal records to submit from your trip. Maybe mammals really are the way forward! You'll be doing better than my mammal count - I've only added a few fox and a squirrel!

Imperfect and Tense said...

Mammal records? Mammals don't usually have wings or live underwater for most of their lives (I'm obviously excluding bats and cetaceans here). Not like yer av'rage dragonfly... now they're worth recording!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Subtle difference, eh? Brrr... I remember it often seemed warmer with snow than on a cold, clear, sunny winter's day.

Killing badgers to save cows is highly illogical.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Katie, You sure know your weather. It was about 5 degrees warmer than the previous day. And 4" deeper. Go figure!

Re badgers, you and Spock are spot on :o)

Brock Ba'jer said...

Dear Graeme Walker (Imperfect and Tense)...
May I have permission to use your photo of the Badger's footprint in the snow for my upcoming post on my blog?
Thank you for your consideration,
Terre (Brock Ba'jer)

Imperfect and Tense said...

Dear Terre, Well, that's given me paws for thought. You might be a self-confessed pirate, but at least you're a polite one. Yes, you may use the image of the badger's footprint. Best Wishes, Graeme