Butser Wildlife Watch April 2019

We’ve been keeping track of the wonderful wildlife we see here at Butser as the seasons change. Here is our April update written by team member Victoria Melluish on what we’ve witnessed this month!

With the deer tracks, fox prints and owl pellets being little hints and clues to the kind of wildlife that visit the farm when we aren’t there, we decided that it was time to take a look into the secret nightlife of Butser Ancient Farm.

We made the decision to purchase a trail camera, a device that photographs and videos during the night and day whenever it sensors movement. One of the best decisions we have made as it turns out! We set the camera up for the first time and captured deer in the distance, something we are accustomed to seeing on an almost daily basis, yet always a delight to see.

The second night we fixed the camera to a wooden post in the ground in a different location and decided to up the ante a little so we put down peanut butter to lure over any fluffy guests. The peanut butter worked a treat as in the first night we were visited by badgers, foxes, deer, Heron, ducks and pheasants. Seeing animals behave in the wild is truly a magnificent thing to have the pleasure of watching. Let’s hope we will capture some rabbits, hare and hedgehogs next!


Did you know?

The earliest recorded use of the word “badger” was in 1523. Before that, it was called a “brock” or “bauson”. According to many researchers, the ancient Celts would call them “Broc”.

The Irish Gaelic for fox is Sionnach and it was believed that foxes were the dogs of the Norsemen who were supposed to have brought them to Ireland.


We were also visited by some curious ducks that decided to take a rest on the thatch of the Little Woodbury, they seemed to be enjoying the view of the farm!

duck on the roof 3 duck on the roof 4

Our Archaeologist Claire has also been busy in the Roman crop field planting flax which has already started to germinate and has also been planting in the Stone Age area Einkorn and Darnell. Einkorn is the earliest type of farmed wheat and is said to have been developed by farmers in the Middle East around 10,000 years ago!

Plans for Celtic beans and barley to be planted near the Saxon part of the farm are also underway, watch this space!

Claire also discovered a common green lizard amidst the foliage whilst planting, quite an irregular site to see on the farm!

Common green lizard

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