Not many of them – yet – but they are beautiful.
Cracked leaves, dusty footpaths, yellowed fields: they’re all waiting.
There are always winners and losers with weather. Week after week of exceptionally high temperatures and almost no rainfall have boosted butterfly numbers, but everything that depends on earthworms is having a tough time finding them in iron-hard earth.
Badgers thrive on earthworms, but they are omnivorous and will take insects, bee nests and carrion too. This one was visiting a water dish that I’ve had out in the woods for the last week. (Ignore the date – camera was not set correctly.)
Potentially, foxes may be impacted more than badgers – earthworms are a big part of the diet of cubs.
Shrews are surviving at high speed, as they always do. Pygmy shrews need to eat up to 125% of their body weight each day. That’s 125% of not very much, admittedly; at 2 to 6 grams, they’re our smallest terrestrial mammal.
One of the most frequent of my thirsty visitors is the bank vole. The trail camera caught one drinking for a full twenty seconds without a pause.
They’re clinging on. The rest of us are watching the sky in hope.