||Rabbits live in grassland, cultivated land,
grassy coastal cliffs and woodland. Wild rabbits are gregarious and
a couple of hundred individuals may be found in one warren. They are
active during dusk and dawn, but will also come out during the day
in undisturbed areas. Rabbits primarily feed on grass and leafy plants,
but they will feed on bulbs, bark and twigs when food is scarce. They
can also be damaging to young trees and farmers crops.
||All of the badger species are basically
nocturnal and are active mainly at night, spending the daylight hours
hidden away in a burrow or sett. However, virtually all of the badgers
have been seen out and about during the day at some time or other.
Daytime activity seems to be more common in isolated areas where there
is little disturbance from humans, during times when food supplies
are short, or, in the case of females, when there are young to be
fed. During winter, badgers are much less active than usual.
The badgers, with their well developed forelegs, and long, strong
claws on their fore paws, are well adapted for digging. All of the
badger species put their digging skills to good use by excavating
burrows or setts, for shelter from the elements and protection from
enemies while they are resting or rearing their young.
Squirrels can be found in woodland and urban areas,
especially near Beeches, Oaks and other nut trees.
Their diet mainly consists of nuts of nuts, seeds
and berries, occasionally vegetation, especially in Spring, and
birds eggs, nesting birds and insects.They are active during the
day and don't hibernate during the winter.
The pheasant is not a native species
to Britain but was introduced from Asia, probably by the Romans.
In the winter pheasants inhabit woodlands with shrubby understory
or, where there are no woods reed-filled ditches. In spring, they
disperse to woodland edges and hedgerows. At the end of April pheasants
nest, usually in woods, hedge bottoms and cereal fields. They lay
around 12 eggs, incubating them for 25 days. Chicks hatch from mid-May
and are tended by their mothers only. During the first few days,
chicks need to eat high protein meals of insects. Pheasant shooting
provides a significant contribution to the rural economy - around
£600 million per year employing over 25,000 people.
The fox is at the top of its food chain
and has never naturally been hunted. Its survival depends upon the
availability of food in its territory. If too many fox cubs are
born then there will be too much competition for food, some mouths
will not be fed and therefore means that population is controlled
by nature and is self-regulating. Remove a fox from a territory
and another one will quickly take it's place, eager for the newly
available food. Foxes use scent for their main communication. The
big bushy tail (brush) helps to spread this around!
The red fox is a solitary hunter that specializes in the capture
of small prey. Hunting, like most activities, is done primarily
at night although the fox is not strictly a nocturnal animal. Changes
in food supply such as during winter months can force a need to
hunt during the day, and individual animals may indeed prefer to
do so. Thus, foxes can be seen searching for food at any time, although
they favour dawn and dusk when their prey is most active.
If you have any pictures of wildlife that you would
like to send in all photos are welcome!
also any photos of pets you would like to send in will be put on the
page - Pets on the Net
the Swallowcliffe diary for the latest activities