Sunday, 15 January 2017

Animal tracks on a wet day: always something interesting in nature

In the mist and drizzle

Thawing snow, wet mist, drizzle, +5C. A dreich day. Chilly and damp. Even the nearby hills were hidden, the woods were hazy and dark. Two buzzards flapped slowly over the snow, silhouetted against the white ground. Rabbits skipped out of sight.
 
Rabbit food

Even on a day like this there is something to see, something of interest. With no views I looked down. Here were signs of the wildlife I was unlikely to see in the poor visibility. Tracks laced the ground  showing where rabbbits had searched for places they could scrape through the snow and find food.

Rabbit tracks

At the edge of the woods roe deer tracks appeared. None ventured out into the fields, where I often see them - no point when the grass is snow-covered.

Roe deer track

A fox had been out in the fields though, the straight line of its tracks cutting across the tangle of twisting and turning rabbit ones. I followed the tracks for a while but lost them in a snowfree area so whether it caught a rabbit or a mouse or maybe a pheasant - I saw tracks of several - I didn't find out..

Fox

An unpromising day then but still much of interest to see, as there always is in the natural world.

For identification of tracks and signs for over decades I've used Animals Tracks, Trails & Signs by R.W.Brown, M.J.Lawrence & J. Pope. There is much excellent information online now of course, including by Paul Kirtley on his blog.

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