Saturday, 26 December 2009

Footprints in the Snow

Boxing day and we were feeling sluggish after days of sitting around. We needed a walk, so it was off to Trentham Forest to stretch our legs. The sun was bright and low in the sky. The air was cold and there was ice underfoot. Nothing can hide easily in these conditions and the evidence of the resident wildlife was everywhere in the snow.
A fox had passed this way not so long ago, The tracks show its paw pads and just a hint of claws. The track is evenly spaced with all paws falling in a straight line.
Deer slots were also evident, some being very fresh. I estimated at one point that we were following at least 3 animals, though the tracks were probably a few hours old.
1. Rabbit tracks are quite distinctive, with the rear paws positioned side by side and the front paws spaced out.
2. Heron had also walked at the edge of the forest, their tracks looking like a row of arrows pointing the wrong way!
3. Pigeon were also around, leaving a well imprinted, but smaller track.

Interestingly, there were squirrels foraging in the cold, but despite seeing them cross the snow and ice, I could not find a track to photograph.

Feeling quite refreshed, it was back to a warm coffee and mince pies. Tomorrow, I hope, we will go for a longer and brisker walk.

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