Badgers are part of the Mustelidae family the same family as otters, ferret, polecats and weasels.
Length: Adults are usually between 70 and 100 cm (2/3 ft) long.
Weight: Weight varies according to the seasons. Adults are usually between 6 – 7 kg in summer and 12 – 14 kg in the winter.
Food: Badgers are omnivores. They feed on a wide variety of plants and animals.
Lifespan: The oldest known wild badger lived to be 14 years old, however only a few will ever exceed 7-8 years of age in the wild.
Brown hares were introduced during Iron Age and are widespread throughout England and Wales. Brown hares live in a variety of habitats .They rely on acute senses and being able to run upto speeds of 45 mph to escape predators. Hares do not use burrows but instead they make a small depression on the ground known as a form.
Length: Adults Hare is about 70cm in length.
Weight: Average 3 – 4kg
Food: Feeding on grass shoots and other plants, cereals & crops.
Lifespan: Hares normally live to 3 – 4 years.
Reproduction: The breeding season starts from January to August. The females nests in a depression on the surface of the ground rather than in a burrow. The young are active as soon as they are born. Litters may consist of three or four young and a female can produce three litters a year.
Red Fox Infomation
Foxes live all around the world in many diverse habitats including forests, grasslands, mountains, and deserts. They also adapt well to human environments such as citys and towns. The red fox’s resourcefulness has really earned it a legendary reputation for intelligence and cunning.
Length: Adults Fox 90cm with a tail up to 60cm
Weight: Average: 2.2 – 14 kg
Food: Foxes are omnivore and their diet includes fruits, berries, grasses, birds, small mammals, rabbits and mice. But the large part of the red fox’s diet is made up with invertebrates like crickets, caterpillars, grasshoppers and beetles.
Lifespan: 2 – 5 years (In the wild)
Reproduction: Breeding season varies from region to region but usually begins in December or January here down in the south. After foxes mate they can stay physically attached in a sexual position for up to an hour. This is known as the “copulatory tie”. A male and female fox usually pair for life. The vixen typically gives birth to a litter of 2 to 12 pups.
As you can see from the photos we have a good popultaion of white deer here in West Dorset. Seeing this in the countryside really is a powerful and beautiful sight to see.
Length: Adult male fallow deer (bucks) are generally 84 – 94 cm at the shoulder and Females are 73 – 91cm at the shoulder.
Weight: 35 – 94kg
Food: Grass and shoots, plants, cereals & crops.
Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
Females are usually brown with darker brown markings and the Males are usually grey with black marking. Adders can often found in a variety of habitats from meadows, woodland, sunny clearings, hedgerows, coastal areas and stone quarries.
Length: Adults usually grow to 60 cm (24 in) in length with an average size of 55 cm (22 in).
Weight: Adults are usually 50 – 100g
Food: Adders will feed mostly on small mammals, lizards, birds and frogs. Once they have identified their prey they will strike injecting a dose of venom and quickly releasing from its prey so it will not be attacked. Once bitten the prey will wander off to its death where this amazing reptile will use its senses to track down its meal.
Lifespan: They can live for up to 15 years in the wild.
Reproduction: Adders reach sexual maturity between 3 and 4 years of age. During the warmer spring days the male adders will actively search for females by picking up pheromones in the air. Females will give birth to live young. The gestation period is about three to four months. Adders typically give birth to 3 – 12 babies which will be completely independent and ready to go soon after birth.
Grass Snake Infomation
Grass Snakes are carnivores and will feed on many different kinds of amphibians like frogs, toads, newts, small fish, mammals and even birds.
These snakes are active predators and for any unfortunate tasty treat that gets in its way will be swallowed usually alive and in one go.
Length: Females are grow up to 2 meters in lenght but on average reach 90 – 110 cm while the Males will grow to 80cm with an average size of 60cm.
Weight: Adults from 100 – 240g
Common Lizard Infomation
The common or viviparous lizard is one of three lizard species that are found all over the UK. Their scales and colours range from brown, grey, yellows and green. These lizards do live on the ground but can also be seen climbing tree, rocks, logs and on most vegetation so keep your eyes out for these during March to October when they are most active.
Length: 10 – 15cm
Weight: 5 – 10g
Food: They will feed on small insects, spiders and snails. The lizard will shake its prey to death in its jaws before chewing and swallowing it whole.
Lifespan: 5 – 6 years
Reproduction: They mate in April to May depending on the seasons and the young develop for three months inside the female. Males reach sexual maturity at the age of two with the females at three to four years of age. Also these lizards will often hibernate in groups from November and March.
Wall Lizard Infomation
The Wall Lizard will eat a wide range of insects and other invertebrates and will often be seen hunting during the day time hours. They are extremely fast and can effortlessly run up vertical walls and rock faces in a blink of an eye.
Length: Adults up to 15 – 20 cm in length.
Weight: 5 – 20g
Slow Worm Infomation
Unlike our other reptiles slow worms will rarely bask in the open and often preferring to hide under logs and other lower vegetation.
Length: 40 – 50cm
Weight: 20 – 100g
Food: Slow worms feed on slow moving prey such as slugs, snails, some spiders, insects and earthworms.
Lifespan: 20 years
Reproduction: Rather than laying eggs the female slow worm gives birth to live young. A newborn slow worm is about 5 – 10 cm in length and will take upto 6-8 years to reach its full adult size.
Water Rail Infomation
Food: The water rail is an omnivorous bird and feeds on plant matter, insects, fish and small invertebrates such as snails.
Length: Adults up to 23-28cm cm in length.
Weight: 80 – 180g
Fulmars look very similar to Sea gulls. They fly with straighter and stiffer wings have white heads and underside, Grey wings and grey to yellow beaks and are in fact related to the Albatross.
Lifespan: 40+ years
Food: Fulmars will eat almost anything from the sea like small fish, squid, shrimps, plankton, jellyfish and even carrison.
Reproduction: They are monogamous and the pairs will often return to the same nesting location every year. Breeding season begins in May. The females are able to store sperm in specialized glands and will not become pregnant for a number of weeks after breeding. Fulmars will create their nests on cliff sides and edges.
Herring Gull Infomation
Gulls are large and very noisy. They are found throughout the year on our coasts and often seen inland around farms, rubbish tips, fields, reservoirs and lakes.
Food: If you have ever visited a sea side town you will soon notice that these Gulls are like rubbish bins and often will steal your chips and ice cream from your hands. They are in fact Ominivorous eating anything from fish, carrion, young birds, eggs, small mammals, insects, seeds and fruits.
Length: 50 to 60cm in length
Wingspan: 130 – 150cm
Weight: 600 – 1440g
Little Egret Infomation
The little egret is a small white heron with attractive white feathers black legs and bill with yellow feet. It first appeared in the UK in with numbers in 1989 and first bred here in Dorset in 1996.
Length: 50 – 65cm
Wingspan: 88 – 95cm
Weight: 300 – 600g
Lifespan: 22+ years
Food: Fish, amphibians, small reptiles, mammals, birds, crustaceans, insects, spiders and worms.
Length: 15 – 17 cm
Wingspan: 24 – 26cm
Weight: 30 – 50g
Lifespan: 2 – 7 years
Food: Kingfishers feed on a wide variety of prey and are most famous for hunting fish but they will also eat frogs, spiders, insects and worms.