Blue YD is still moving west, following the river towards the coast. He’s dotting back and forward over the Senegal/Mauritania border sticking close to the river and appears to be tree hopping apart from his last point where he’s headed off in land again. There has been some speculation why he’s started to move again and it could be a number of reasons, the area could be drying up, it could just be good conditions or he has recuperated after his long flight over the desert and is ready to move on again. He’s now only c50 miles from Ceylan so we’re watching both with interest.
Blue 44 has remained in the south of France is moving around between Etang Blanc and Etang d’Hardy. He obviously feels very comfortable here. I’m delighted to say the latest photos from Stephanie and Mattieu have arrived and I’ll upload them tomorrow as gremlims are stopping me today. We’d love to get the same sort of information for Blue YD – does anyone out there have contacts in Senegal or Mauritania?
All the signs are that this is going to be a tough winter for wildlife, regardless of what the weather does. There’s a real lack of hedgerow food such as berries, sloes, nuts and insects so the wildlife are going to need our help. It would be a good time to start feeding the birds, if you haven’t already; it’s worth having a few different types of food out for them for different birds such as niger seed for the finches and fat balls for the tits and woodpeckers.
Hedgehogs are struggling already; this year’s hoglets are particularly small due to the poor summer and lack of food and we’ve had numerous reports of underweight hogs being picked up. To help them you can out leave hibernation piles of leaves, branches and twigs for them to burrow into. If you can leave food out for them that would be a big help and the best thing is special hedgehog food which you can buy in most pet shops. One of our volunteers rescued a hoglet that was a mere 216g which is very small & its unlikely it would survive the winter as they need to be at least 500g. It was very poorly and we’d like to thank Hessilhead Rescue Centre for their help with this hoglet and we’re all hoping it pulls through. Keep your eyes peeled and if you find a hedgehog you’re concerned about contact your local RSPCA or SSPCA for help or find your local rescue centre as there’s many around the UK. And remember to check your bonfires before lighting them!
Elsewhere on the reserve autumn is in full swing with our first Brambling sighted this afternoon and the Fallow Deer stags roaring away preparing for the rut. We’ve got some excellent footage of the deer which we’ll post on our YouTube site very soon.
Our webcams are off at the moment. Those of you watching the Otter cam will have seen Emma, myself and Laura, one of our volunteers, canoeing past doing some Beaver monitoring. Unfortunately while we were out we found one of our webcams was damaged so we’ve had to switch them all off for safety reasons. As ever the camera team are on the case and working to fix it as soon as possible but it may take a couple of days.