Monday, 28 December 2009

Beaver Teeth Marks

Teeth marks of European Beaver Castor fiber on felled tree trunk. Sooma National Park, Estonia.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Tracks of Red Squirrel

Tracks of Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris in snow. Budapest, Hungary, December 2009.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Black Woodpecker Feeding Holes in Pine Tree

Feeding site of Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius on a rotting pine tree. The mix of old and fresh woodchips on the ground show that this site has been used and for some time. Long, vertical, narrow holes, with some near the ground, are typical for Black Woodpecker. Found in a forest near Parnu, May 2009.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Pellets: Long-eared Owl

Long-eared Owl Asio otus pellets. From left to right, from dark to pale, fresh, recent, old and older pellets. The dark one was soft, probably from the previous night. The oldest one was the driest and hardest to the touch. Collected in Serbia, November, 2009.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Steppe Mouse Storage Mound

Another food storage mound of Steppe Mouse Mus spicilegus. Photo taken near Kikinda, Serbia, November 2009.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Long-eared Owl Pellets and Dropppings

Pellets and droppings (amongst fallen leaves) of Long-eared Owl Asio otus on a newspaper booth roof. Dozens of owls were roosting in the tree above. Banat, Serbia, November 2009.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Storage Mound of Steppe Mouse

Food storage mound of Steppe Mouse Mus spicilegus. Such mounds can contain 10kg of grain and be a metre in diameter. Photo taken near Kikinda, Serbia, November 2009.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Great Capricorn Beetle Larva Burrows

The attractive pattern made by the exposed burrows of the larva of Great Capricorn Beetle Cerambyx cerdo in an oak tree. Lednice, South Moravia, Czech Republic.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Hoof Print of Roe Deer

This photo shows an interesting hoof print. It was made by a Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus and taken in the UK in November 2009 (by the carcass shown in the previous post). Because it is in wet mud and fresh, the print is splayed and far from classic. For example, the dew claws at the rear (bottom of photo) have made impressions. This does not always happen with Roe Deer. But note the very narrow, pointed shape of the cleaves.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Roe Deer Carcass

This photo of a dead Roe Deer was sent to me by Mike Crutch in southern England. While out one morning recently he came across this carcass. Note the eyes are still intact, so it is right to assume that it’s fairly fresh as scavengers have not yet arrived. So what killed this deer? Obviously it was large and the ripped hind indicates a dog (no wolves in England). Though the area does have the usual ‘mysterious large black cat’ sightings, a cat can be ruled out as large cats attack the neck area not the rear. In addition, the many paw-prints in the soft mud around the carcass (not really visible here) were of dogs, not cats.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Pine cone fed on by Red Squirrel

Pine cone fed on by Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris. Budapest, Hungary, October 2009.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

More Roe Deer Tracks


More hoof prints of Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus. Again, note the narrow, pointed shape. Soutok, South Moravia, Czech Republic, March 2009.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Roe Deer Hoof Print

Hoof print of Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus in damp sandy soil. Note the very narrow and pointed shape. Found near Breclav, South Moravia, Czech Republic, March 2009.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Mole Hill

A fresh mole-hill (mound) created by European Mole Talpa europaea. Hungary, September 2009.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Spruce Cones Opened By Crossbills

Spruce cones found on the ground below trees were Common Crossbills Loxia curvirostra had been feeding. The birds have twisted them open them to extract the seeds. High Tatras, Slovakia, September 2009.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Spruce Bark Beetle Work - 2

Another example (see previous post) of the work of the larvae of European Spruce Bark Beetle Ips typographus on Norway Spruce Picea abies. Volovske Mountains, Slovakia, September 2009.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Spruce Bark Beetle Work

Marks and burrows made by the larvae of European Spruce Bark Beetle Ips typographus on Norway Spruce Picea abies. The bark has been removed and peeled back by Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus. This woodpecker specialises in predating the larvae of bark beetles. Volovske Mountains, Slovakia, September 2009.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Acorn and Nuthatch

Acorn wedged in bark crevice and hacked open by a Nuthatch Sitta europea. Kosice, Slovakia, September 2009.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Roe Deer Tracks

Tracks of Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus in damp sandy soil. Note that they are very narrow and pointed. Near Breclav, South Moravia, Czech Republic, March 2009.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Old Work of Beaver

A tree worked some time ago by European Beaver Castor fiber. That is, the trunk was not completely gnawed through and the tree did not fall. Not the dark colour of the wood. Sooma NP, Estonia, May 2009.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Beech Marten Dropping

Dropping of Beech Marten Martes foina (aka Stone Marten). These droppings are often places in prominate places (on stones, walls, stumps, logs and, as in this photo, buildings) where other martens can easily see them. Note the reddish colour and seed content due to the animal feeding on a nearby cherry tree. Found at Hortobagy-halasto, Hungary, August 2009.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Bee-eater Colony

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster colony, Bukk Hills Hungary, August 2009. The active holes are the smaller, more uniform ones. The large holes are older ones, opened up by other wildlife or by the elements and erosion. Colonies are usually created in soft, sandy banks.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Tree Barked By Deer

Tree barked and gnawed by deer. Barking is the eating of bark. The bark can be seen to have been stripped and tooth marks apparent. Bukk Hills, Hungary, May 2009. It is hard to say for sure which species did this, but only Roe and Red Deer occur in that area.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Crane Feathers

Feathers of Common Crane Grus grus. Hortobagy, Hungary, August 2009.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Otter Trail

Trail made by Otter Lutra lutra from land into a channel. Note this is not the so-called "otter-slide" where a path is made on a slope, this is merely a path where the vegetation is parted by an otter taking a regular route. Habitat, food remains, droppings and footprints help identify such trails as made by otters. Hortobagy fishponds, Hungary, August 2009.

Friday, 14 August 2009

White Stork: Debris Below Nest

White splash of droppings and sticks in street below a nest of White Stork Ciconia ciconia. Tiszacsege, Hungary, August 2009.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Barn Owl Feathers and Pellets

Barn Owl Tyto alba feathers and pellets. Found on the floor of an old barn on the Hortobagy, Hungary, August 2009.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Broken Wolf Scat

Scat (dropping) of Wolf Canis lupus.The dropping is in four pieces but was most likely a single or two scats when produced. Note the dry nature of the scat (meaning it is not fresh). The fur and hair content and grey colour are typical for Wolf. Found in the Slovensky kras NP, Slovakia, in March 2009.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

New Beaver Lodge

This is a recently built lodge of European Beaver Castor fiber. It is on a small island a few yards from a stream. The materials (branches, twigs, mud) were still wet from being dragged through the water. Near Kuhmo, Finland, July 2009.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Brown Bear Paw Print

Brown Bear Ursus arctos fore paw print in damp soil. The print is broader than it is long, hence a fore paw. Hind paw prints are longer and narrower. Standard-sized mobile phone for comparison. Karelia, Finland, July, 2009.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Brown Bear Territorial Sign 2

A closer shot of the tree broken by a Brown Brown shown in the previous post. The height of the break was around 2 metres.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Brown Bear Territorial Sign

Male Brown Bears Ursus arctos will break and snap branches and saplings and leave them as visual markers for other bears. Such signs are probably statements that indicate just which bears are in the area and what size, hence age, they are. The bear that left this sign was clearly large, as the height of the break indicates, and presumably this is part of the information left for other bears to recognise. Photo taken near Kuhmo, Karelia, Finland in July 2009.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Black Woodpecker Tree Stump Feeding Site

Tree stump feeding site of Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius. Old and fresh woodchips side by side show that this site has been regularly used and for some time. Forest near Spithami, Estonia, May 2009.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Great Capricorn Beetle Larva Burrow

Old burrow made by the larva of Great Capricorn Beetle Cerambyx cerdo in an oak tree. This index finger-sized burrow is exposed as the tree bark has fallen off. Soutok, South Moravia, Czech Republic.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Red Fox Droppings

Droppings of Red Fox Vulpes vulpes on a tree stump. Estonia, May 2009.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Greylag Goose Tracks

Tracks of Greylag Goose Anser anser in wet sand. Taken on a beach at Haapsalu, Estonia, May 2009.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Tree Felled by Beaver

Tree recently felled by European Beaver Castor fiber, Sooma NP, Estonia, May 2009.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Elk Trail

Trail made by Elk Alces alces. Tuhu Soo, Estonia, May 2009. Though on this view it is impossible to say which animal made the trail, a closer inspection at the site revealed Elk hoof prints. 

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Barking by Elk

Spruce tree trunk gnawned by Elk Alces alces. Sooma NP, Estonia, May 2009. Elks eat tree bark in winter when shoots and other vegetation are in short supply. This is sometimes called barking. Elks prefer the bark of young pine trees though in harsh times spruce bark, as here, will be eaten. The bark has started to heal around the wound and the tree will not die. 

Monday, 1 June 2009

Elk Hoof Print

A fresh hoof-print of Elk Alces alces in wet mud. Note the huge size (a UK 50p coin for size comparison) and the imprints of the dew claws. Matsalu Bay, Estonia, May 2009.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Tree gnawed by Beaver

Tree recently worked on by European Beaver Castor fiber, Sooma NP, Estonia, May 2009.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Common Crane Footprint

A fresh footprint of Common Crane Grus grus in mud. A UK 50p coin for size comparison. Kloostri, Matsalu NP, Estonia, May 2009.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Beaver Lodge

Lodge of European Beaver Castor fiber, Sooma NP, Estonia, May 2009.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Greylag Goose: droppings and feathers

Droppings and feathers of Greylag Goose Anser anser. Hortobagy, Hungary, May 2009.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Black-headed Gull Egg Shell

Egg shell of Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus found 1km from colony. Probably predated by Hooded Crow. Hortobagy Fishponds, Hungary, May 2009. 

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Cones Fed Upon by Red Squirrel

Pine cones fed upon by Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris. Piles of such cones can often be found at favourite feeding sites such as on tree-stumps. Jasov, Slovakia, March 2009.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Pine Processionary Moth Tent

So-called "tent" created by the larvae of the Pine Processionary Moth Thaumetopoea pityocampa. Skradin, Croatia, April 2009. 

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Robin's Pin Cushion Gall

This attractive growth is a wasp gall, created by a small wasp species Diplolepis rosae. The grub inside the gall feeds on the plant before emerging. The gall also provides a home to many other creatures. Photo taken near Visovac, Krka NP, Croatia, April 2009. 

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Rock Partridge Dropping

Fresh dropping of Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca. Paklenica National Park, Croatia, April 2009. 

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Red Squirrel and Red Fox Tracks

Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris (from left to right) and Red Fox Vulpes vulpes (from bottom to top) paw tracks crossing each other in snow. Slovensky Kras NP, Slovakia, March 2009.