Natures Diary

< December >










Foxes in December are very vocal with the vixen letting out an almost human like, spine chilling, scream. Many nights I have been waiting for Badgers to appear and it never fails to alarm as the foxes communicate. Due to delayed implantation (also known as embryonic diapause) in Badgers, the sows Blastocysts finally attach themselves into her uterine wall this month. Badgers are capable of Superfetation and as such could have different fathers for her cubs. A 50 day gestation period then ensues before the cubs are finally born. Stoats and Mountain Hares change the colour of their coats to the north of the country blending in with the landscape once the snows begin to fall.


Tawny Owls pair up this month and can be heard readily establishing their territories. Flocks of birds can be formed from species such as Yellow Hammers, Reed Buntings and Snow Buntings. Goldfinches can be seen on Teasel seed heads extracting the seeds. Waxwings continue to feed on Rowan Berries.


Jews Ear fungi along with Scarlet Elf cup decorate woodlands at this time of year, while hedgerow berries such as Sloes, Rowan, and Rosehips are eagerly being eaten by wildlife or in the case of Holly and Mistletoe cut for decorations.


Scrape around in woodland leaf litter and you will be surprised at the beetles, worms, pupae, grubs and others forms of insects sheltering under the fallen leaves.