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John's Mammals 2020

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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 18:00   #1
Farnboro John
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John's Mammals 2020

Off we go again, with Wood Mouse my first mammal of the New Year. It scuttled across the road between Farnborough and Fleet like an electric toy, paused for a half second and then ran on into the far verge.

Out birding all day with Clare and Steve I missed a Roe Deer Clare spotted near Odiham (but she'd already pointed out a Red Fox I would have missed because it was off the line of the road) and we all had a bunch of Grey Squirrels. Steve for his part noticed a Rabbit near Eyeworth that both Clare and I missed.

Happy New Year everybody!

John
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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 18:27   #2
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Happy New Year John. Wood Mouse was my first mammal as well. Feeding on the seed put out at Parkend. Two also showed on my youngest’s trail cam during the night.

Grey Squirrels were the only other mammal seen today.

Rich
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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 19:01   #3
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Happy New year

Just Grey squirrel and loads of Roe deer for me today

Mark
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 07:41   #4
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Rabbit recovered at Moor Green Lakes two days ago, nice and local. I didn't see Roe Deer there, which was a surprise, but yesterday had a quick run round RAF Odiham after work and found four Roe Deer in a field near the boundary fence as well as more Rabbits sitting in the edge of a hedge enjoying the sunshine. The big surprise was a female/immature Merlin that killed a Skylark over the field I was looking across to the deer field - very good local bird!

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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 12:26   #5
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My foxes have been absent for a week or two (probably bingeing on turkey carcasses) but Big Whitey put in a couple of visits last night, being fed by Marion and me on separate occasions. Nice to see him, I always worry a bit when they disappear for a while.

I was particularly concerned on this occasion after finding two hard-boiled eggs left out on next door's lawn just too late to prevent Whitey getting one. I removed the other to the bin after he ran off with the first: its always possible there's a neighbour out there less keen on them than I am, though in conversation everyone seems quite happy to have them around. Anyway, it appears there is no problem at the moment.

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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 07:40   #6
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Whitey woke us up at about 0100 this morning calling insistently: territoriality, contact call to another fox or what I'm not sure. I know it was him because having been woken up I went downstairs to feed him, in the course of which I heard two more foxes calling away to the rear of the house. When he resumed calling he was far enough away not to prevent me getting back to sleep!

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Old Friday 17th January 2020, 19:36   #7
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My South Africa Trip Report is finally complete

http://www.hows.org.uk/inter/birds/2...o/sareport.pdf

Mark
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Old Saturday 18th January 2020, 12:50   #8
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Hi Mark, nice report and some great pix!

I too have been abroad on holiday but it will be some time before I am ready to start the report on here.

One taster photo of one of the few mammals we saw - it was a bird trip with incidental mammals - so what is it and where have I been.....?

John
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Old Saturday 18th January 2020, 18:09   #9
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Red Patas Monkey but I know where you went! So I won't spoil the location

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Old Saturday 18th January 2020, 21:25   #10
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Correct ID... cheers Mark!

This evening I went out to dinner with Maz and my brother's family. He kindly picked us up which saved us driving. On the way out from our road, vixen Rip scampered across the road in front of us, easily recognisable by her diminutive size. As we were leaving the pub/restaurant, the Millhouse at North Warnborough, a Daubenton's Bat was skimming the millpond - a sign of the warm winter I guess, though it's not so warm tonight!

On the way back into our street, we saw Big Whitey searching the parking bays for food. He was easily recognised by his jauntily angled tail, limp, pale fur and large size even for a dog fox.

As neither has visited us for a while it was nice to see they are all right.

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Old Monday 20th January 2020, 09:40   #11
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Big Whitey came for chicken both very late Saturday night and at a more normal time last night. Nice to see him back - my records show they always become erratic around Christmas but it's always a tense time till they resume usual behaviour.

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Old Friday 24th January 2020, 06:24   #12
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Still only Big Whitey visiting at the moment. The fox breeding season is in full swing and last night he turned up limping much worse than usual, and early (about 2030). Fortunately I had already decided to take the first fox photos of 2020 so had the camera fully prepared. From what I got of him sitting down waiting to be fed, it was apparent that he had a bite on his right jaw (not too bad) - so although I couldn't see his bad leg properly, most likely he had been in a fight with another dog fox and got the worst of it, including a bite on his bad leg as he fled. He is three-and-a-half after all.....

Anyway, he came back at 2130 and Maz found him waiting for her first thing this morning as well and fed him again, so he certainly isn't starving, whatever the results of his wooing/territory maintenance.

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Old Friday 24th January 2020, 16:54   #13
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Not too much from me as I have been working almost every day since New Year but had this muntjac in the garden. It visits regularly.

Mark
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Old Saturday 25th January 2020, 07:24   #14
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That's a nice garden visitor - unless you are a keen gardener I guess....

Psycho checked in for chicken last night, so he's all right. No limps, though I didn't take pictures to check for bites, so his mating season must be going well.

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Old Monday 27th January 2020, 21:38   #15
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Some nice otter action in the Brecks on Saturday had two large cubs and mother for an hour, pity the light was so terrible.

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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 20:35   #16
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Behind our house the other day. Don't know if they're doable - was thinking Stoat or Polecat. Never seen Stoat round here, but single figures of roadkill Polecat within 5 miles of here over the past 10 years, as well as one doing its best to join their ranks under my wheels last year (year before?). Any takers?
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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 21:24   #17
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Behind our house the other day. Don't know if they're doable - was thinking Stoat or Polecat. Never seen Stoat round here, but single figures of roadkill Polecat within 5 miles of here over the past 10 years, as well as one doing its best to join their ranks under my wheels last year (year before?). Any takers?
Looks mustelid all right but maybe too small for Polecat? (I confess I've no experience of Polecat tracks though I have of Stoat in snow.)

If you have a trailcam it might be worth deploying it. (Nail a Polecat and gain a lodger, for sure.... )

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Old Wednesday 29th January 2020, 06:22   #18
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Been continuing with my homework on these, and I think Grey squirrel is probably the current front runner. The fact that one of the five toes seems to be slightly further out on one side than the other would seem to point in that direction. Oh well, it was exciting for a little while!
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Old Saturday 8th February 2020, 20:37   #19
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Big Whitey is back to normal regularity now, with Rip showing up once in a while. Haven't seen Psycho for a couple of weeks - not since last reported on here.

Had a trip down to the New Forest today, Muntjac on the verge of the M3 on the two-lane stretch between Basingstoke and Winchester. Quite a few different groups of Fallow Deer from the car while driving around the Forest, but none while on foot, so no pictures. Both deer species were year ticks. Other than that just Grey Squirrels.

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Old Saturday 22nd February 2020, 09:30   #20
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Decent view of 2 Otters swimming together in Applecross Bay last week. About 200 metres along from the pub by the houses. Also the usual Red, Roe Deer, Red Squirrel, Brown Hare, Common Seals and Bunny.

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Old Saturday 22nd February 2020, 11:06   #21
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On my work trips out of Stansted, I keep seeing the Lauda flight to Vienna, and this reminds me of the recent Hamster footage on the BBC and the James Lowen, 52 European Weekends book. I'm really tempted to try and photograph one of them, but James has this down for August when the flight prices are going to be high. Any other advice from you guys? Have you tried this trip out?
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Old Saturday 22nd February 2020, 12:13   #22
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On my work trips out of Stansted, I keep seeing the Lauda flight to Vienna, and this reminds me of the recent Hamster footage on the BBC and the James Lowen, 52 European Weekends book. I'm really tempted to try and photograph one of them, but James has this down for August when the flight prices are going to be high. Any other advice from you guys? Have you tried this trip out?
There is a Vienna Hamsters Facebook group which are pretty helpful if you DM them for information. I contacted them last April and the hamsters were already out of hibernation. I would guess they are active well into autumn so the window of opportunity to photograph them is quite large.

There is a nice report with site information on mammalwatching.com.

https://www.mammalwatching.com/wp-co...ienna-2018.pdf

If you're on Facebook the hamster group link is below

https://www.facebook.com/feldhamsterinwien/

I intend to make the trip myself once I have a long weekend free.
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Old Saturday 22nd February 2020, 14:57   #23
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Brilliant Mike, thank-you very much. Carrin (wife) is already looking up hotels and thinks end of June before the school holidays. Let us know if yourself (or anyone else) for that matter wants to meet up. First check on flights from Stansted shows about 100 return
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Old Saturday 22nd February 2020, 18:11   #24
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Maz and I were thinking of doing the same thing, and turning it into a BF mammal bash would be great! (Assuming I don't see anything else new before that, it would be my 100th European mammal....)

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Old Monday 24th February 2020, 11:48   #25
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Actually got out on Saturday and picked up a couple of mammals for the year.

First off was a visit to Stour meadows at Blandford Forum, where after one walk up and down the length of the meadows Clare and I (all right, Clare) found two Otters foraging under trees and snags hanging into the river along the island section. We watched them happily for about fifteen minutes and then they did the legendary otter disappearing act from right in front of us less than twenty yards away. All that was missing from the trick was the puff of smoke.

After a brief search we drove over to Arne RSPB where eventually we came up with a single Sika stag with a cataractal eye, feeding along the edge of the saltmarsh. The weather actually cleared to blue sky and sunshine, which encouraged us to finish off with a visit to the Hoopoe at Badminston - which turned out to be abck under cloud and staying that way. Also the bird remained relentlessly loyal to the exact middle of the horse paddock!

It was nice to be out (and for most of the day not rained on) anyway.

John
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