Thursday, 31 December 2015

Lapwing Feathers

Feathers of Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), Kiskunság, Hungary. Probably predated by a fox - note the sharply and evenly cut off quills (Gerard Gorman).

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Woodpecker Anvil with Cone

Conifer cone wedged in an 'anvil' of Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major. Bükk Hills, Hungary, August 2015 (Gerard Gorman).

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Robin's Pin Cushion

A Robin's Pin Cushion. This is a gall made by the wasp Diplolepis rosae. This is fresh, old ones are dried and dark coloured. Aggtelek, Hungary, June 2015 (Gerard Gorman).

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Mole-rat Mounds

Mole-rat mounds, Kiskunság, Hungary, May 2015. These mounds are around a metre across, much bigger than those of true moles (which are not related). It is unclear which species of Mole-rat this (Lesser or Balkan?) as the taxonomy of this group is under review.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Black Woodpecker foraging cavity

This huge (approx 20cm x 15cm) freshly made hole is the work of Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius). In Europe only this species makes such holes. The edges of the hole are cut with almost mechanical precision by this woodpecker with its sharp, chisel-shaped beak. In most cases such holes are made when tree-dwelling carpenter ant colonies are sought. Buda Hills, Hungary, April 2015 (Gerard Gorman).

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Goose droppings old and new

Here are 2 examples of droppings of Greylag Goose Anser anser. Apaj, Hungary, April 2015. Old one (dry and dark) on the left, fresh one (damp and green) on the right. Both about 5cm long and 0.7-1.3cm thick.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Skull of Red Deer

Skull of Red Deer Cervus elaphus. Zemplen Hills, Hungary, April 2015.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Black Woodpecker foraging hole

In this photo is a newly excavated hole made by Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius. This is clearly a foraging hole not a nest-hole. Nest-holes are more precise, smaller, oval or roundish. This large, vertical, slit-shape is typical for this species: no other woodpecker (indeed no other animal) in Europe makes such holes. These are usually hacked into living trees that have hollow cores due to rot and where invertebrate prey resides. Pest County, Hungary, March 2015, Gerard Gorman. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Pharoah Eagle Owl pellets

Pellets of Bubo ascalaphus, Pharoah Eagle Owl, Morocco, Feb 2014. About 3-4cm long when whole, but broken. Mobile phone for compsarison of size. Blue items in the pellets suggested undigested chitin from insects.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Tracks of Red-billed Chough

Tracks of Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) in snow. These were easy to identify because the birds were right there making them! High Atlas Mountains, Morocco, February 2015 (Gerard Gorman).

Thursday, 12 February 2015


Visitors to this blog may be interested in a Facebook Group I have set up called WILDLIFE TRACKS & SIGNS. Please enter that name on Facebook and perhaps join. Thanks. Gerard Gorman.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Pine Marten tracks

Fresh Pine Marten Martes martes tracks in snow. Taken in January 2015 in Scotland by Michael Crutch.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker foraging marks

                                            Feeding marks of Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus. This woodpecker specialises in preying upon the larvae of bark-beetles, especially those found in spruce trees. Foraging marks like this, sometimes called ringing, are a method of taking sap. Photo from Lower Austria (Gerard Gorman).

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Little Owl roosting site

Droppings and pellets of Little Owl Athene noctua below a regular roosting place on the corner of a building. Apaj, Hungary, January 2015 (Gerard Gorman). When looking for sitting owls it is often best to look low down, on the ground, before looking high up.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Woodpecker hacked nest-box

A songbird nest-box entrance hole enlarged by a Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major. There are various reasons why some woodpeckers do this: to allow entrance and use the box as a roosting place, to use the box as a nesting site themselves or to prey upon what is inside, eggs or chicks. Also, a combination of these can result (Gerard Gorman, Budapest, Hungary).