It rains a lot where we live. Sometimes (well, perhaps more than sometimes) we get fed up with it, but the rain does make mud in the woods that is fantastic for footprints. It is exciting to see what is up and about when no one is looking.
Badger prints are quite distinctive – they are quite rounded and I always think ‘teddy bear’ when I see them. Often the prints are a bit confused as the smaller hind footprint overlaps the larger front print. Badgers tend to turn their toes in as they walk, so if you have a run of prints, you can often see the claw marks pointing into the middle of the track.
Deer slots can be hard to tell from sheep tracks sometimes, but sheep are unlikely (though not unheard of) visitors to the wood. It’s also hard to tell deer species apart on their tracks, though size can sometimes give it away. Before I’d looked carefully at the print on the right, I’d thought we’d had a cow in the wood it was so big! The size indicates a red deer, though we also have roe deer.
Squirrel prints again are distinctive. The hind feet (lower in the photo) are much larger than the fore feet and the toes are long and discrete, 5 on the hind print and 4 on the fore. (It would be lovely, (and tantalisingly possible), for us to find red squirrel prints, but it is more than likely these were made by greys.)