Two hundred miles from Kineton but definately worth a mention…!

I was up in the Lake District last week and was left gobsmacked/speechless/slightly shaking with excitement (delete as appropriate) when a pine marten (the Holy Grail for British wildlife watchers) clambered up a tree less than ten metres away from me! At first I thought red squirrel (having seen one two days before) but it was immediately obvious this was no Tufty. Even better, it climbed the tree, came back down, went up again and then climbed the next trunk. The experts are already on the case… I’ve had excited emails from Cumbria and there’s hope my sighting will lead to night camera traps being set up in the vicinity.

Two years ago it was announced that the first English pine martens to be seen for a hundred years had been spotted in deepest Shropshire… so my sighting is likely to be significant. And just two weeks ago I had actually been over in Shropshire to spend an evening with their pine marten team – checking their cameras whilst looking out for the proverbial needle in a haystack… The cameras are tripped every night by mice, hedgehogs, deer, badgers, etc and – just very, very occasionally – a pine marten. In fact, they reckon that since they were installed two years ago, on average only 1 in every 2,500 video clips has been triggered by a pine marten! But their patience has been rewarded with some glorious short clips.

Roger

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Giant puff balls!! Delicious when fried up with bacon – and one lasts two or three days! Only the second time I’ve ever come across these so I’m sure I did a little dance when we found them.

Also, look out for the huge fairy ring on the left hand side of the road up to Burton Dassett – there are so many horse mushrooms it looks like it has been snowing. Again, tasty when fried up…

Baby blackbird caught in a thunderstorm – must have been terrified so sought shelter underneath a car.

The heavy rain meant Ernie the racing pigeon left us after more than two weeks – even though he had firmly decided that he was free to wander into our kitchen whenever he wanted.