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John's Mammals 2015

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Old Wednesday 31st December 2014, 18:12   #1
Farnboro John
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John's Mammals 2015

Just under six hours to go, so this thread is starting earlier than last year's one did.....

I'm on a birding century run in the morning, since I don't need Little Bustard: but I expect I shall keep half an ear awake for calling foxes, they were very vocal last night!

All welcome as usual, hopefully our new friend Crazyfingers will have US highlights in 2015 while we engage with the patchwork quilt of the British Isles' mammal fauna.

We be of one blood, ye and I. Good hunting!

John
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Old Thursday 1st January 2015, 18:58   #2
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A birding day today, but of course some mammals got into the act.

First up was a Harvest Mouse that jumped away from my feet while I was plodging through a marsh looking for Jack Snipe (didn't find any). There were three Roe Deer on the far side of the field with the marsh in it, and a Red Fox that had been hiding in the rushes leapt up and out and scuttled into the cover of the hedge.

While we were flogging Butter Wood for Marsh Tit we had the inevitable Grey Squirrel, then after we transferred to the Sussex coast there was a Brown Rat enjoying the fallen bits underneath a feeder at Church Norton. Finally a couple of Rabbits were chasing about in the evening gloom as we ticked off the Bewick's Swans at Burpham.

Cheers

John
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Old Saturday 3rd January 2015, 00:20   #3
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Happy New Year

Only a few species so far this year a muntjac on the journey up to see the Little Bustard, and trapped both House Mouse and Bank Vole near / at home.

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Old Monday 12th January 2015, 23:10   #4
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A quiet weekend at home but still had a few mammals, the ever present garden squirrel and a wood mouse and bank vole in the garage longworths.

I spent a bit of time catching up with the hedgehog that was showing on the trail cam and also with the trailcam fox as well.




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Old Monday 12th January 2015, 23:32   #5
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I took Marion to Scotland for the Harlequin and found a few mammals in a quick whiz round.

First up were some Bottlenose Dolphins at the Aberdeen harbour mouth, viewed from the esplanade to the North - distant but very nice in the sunshine. From there we nipped up the coast to the Ythan, where the Grey Seal colony was much in evidence at the mouth of the estuary, and a Common Seal came to have a close look at me on the high tide as I was scuttling back round the last horizontal sand to the golf course car park.

After overnighting at Lossiemouth we failed to find anything on the 9th. Morning of the 10th saw a brief sortie to the Cairn Gorm top car park - nothing showing at all - then to the Glenmore cafe where no Red Squirrels turned up. We also struck out on Tufty at Loch Garten RSPB though the Crested Tits were great: we did find a Red Deer hind on the way over there, between the Boat of Garten turning and the Loch Garten one.

After some time we decided to try the Findhorn valley, which had some heavy snowstorms going but no sign of Red or Sika Deer, Mountain or Brown Hares, or Feral Goats. There was a small flock of Snow Buntings though. A return first to LGRSPB and then the Glenmore Cafe again failed to produce any squirrels.

Homeward bound on 11th we had loads of Red Deer beside the A9 and a bunch of about 40 Black Grouse skimmed across the snowy landscape to cross the road just ahead of the car. We stopped at Loch of the Lowes but struck out on Red Squirrels again, similarly no Otters or Beavers: but quite a few Fallow Deer including an albino were drifting through the woods around the loch. Apparently the locals call it "the Ghost".

End of mammal interest or much else apart from a long drive home, in fairly crap weather a lot of the time.

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Old Tuesday 13th January 2015, 20:38   #6
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A few pix from the trip:

Harlequin
Grey Seal X 3
Common Seal

John
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Old Tuesday 13th January 2015, 21:10   #7
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3 Killers Whales were seen today at Scrabaster (Thurso Bay) c17m from the shore. Lucky buggers who saw them!
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Old Thursday 15th January 2015, 20:08   #8
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I was up in London last night for a lecture and a lot too much alcohol, but took the opportunity to scrutinise the tracks at a few Underground stations. Hyde Park Corner did the business and House Mouse is safely on the year list.

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Old Thursday 15th January 2015, 20:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
I was up in London last night for a lecture and a lot too much alcohol, but took the opportunity to scrutinise the tracks at a few Underground stations. Hyde Park Corner did the business and House Mouse is safely on the year list.

John
Come visit us in NYC, I can guarantee rats as you travel our subways.
Central Park is also mammal rich, although our visiting coyote was just removed to wilder areas in the Bronx.
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Old Friday 16th January 2015, 19:23   #10
Farnboro John
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Come visit us in NYC, I can guarantee rats as you travel our subways.
Yeah, we have mice, you have rats.... Thanks all the same, we have plenty of Brown Rats right here.

I'm afraid NYC is slightly below Alaska, California (repeat), Arizona and a few other places on my list of North American places to go - I'm not a city boy!

Cheers

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Old Friday 16th January 2015, 19:25   #11
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Bank Vole near the Eelmoor end of the Farnborough runway late this afternoon, rustling the leaves on a bank popular with Adders in warmer weather - fairly safe at the moment I reckon!

Three of the Przewalski's Horses prowling their enclosure, always nice to see even if they are enclosed.

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Old Sunday 18th January 2015, 23:13   #12
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Birding day yesterday, but one new mammal: Brown Hare at Elmley NNR. Perhaps 200 Rabbits enjoying the fine weather.

Had a day over in the Forest of Dean today with Clare. It started poorly with a full-on clang-out on Hawfinch. We then followed directions for Wild Boar and saw nothing in a couple of hours apart from many Grey Squirrels and three Common Crossbills which called exactly like Common Crossbills and to the devil with sub-classification of calls. Luckily we had the phone number of our good friend Ben, who responded within ten minutes to my panicked bleat over the phone.

During the course of what felt like a strenuous afternoon (made worse by the sight of Ben gliding effortlessly across uneven ground, slippery mud, under, over and past wood, bracken, brambles and other obstructions) a full rescue package found us ten Wild Boar, five Hawfinches, two Dippers and a Goshawk. Sorry, all site information confidential. They were in the Forest of Dean.

We were close to concluding our drive home when the headlights illuminated a female Muntjac grazing on the verge of the road through Bramshill forest.

A splendid day out for which all the credit belongs to Ben!

John
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Old Tuesday 20th January 2015, 16:41   #13
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Some Wild Boar pix from Sunday.

John
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Old Tuesday 20th January 2015, 22:25   #14
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A nice morning at Fowlmere on Saturday dodging the snow flurries, plenty of muntjac and fallow deer and a nice fox stalking a heron.

Mark
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Old Sunday 25th January 2015, 21:22   #15
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Made my first visit to the canal Badgers this evening. Two at least of the far-siders were up from about 1730, but co-operating they were not. I got a Badger year-tick but no photos. I also picked up Water Shrew for the year but it was operating from an alcove under the far bank and try as I might I couldn't get a picture of it. Never mind, plenty more visits to come! The only thing I pictured was a roosting Moorhen about ten feet up a tree - higher than I've generally seen them in recent years.

Not much in the way of rodent action compared to early last year, still, can't have a good year every year I suppose.

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Old Monday 26th January 2015, 20:03   #16
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A rather productive week with plenty of incidental sightings fox and brown hare and the first bat of the year a soprano pipistrelle flying inside the church. Wood mouse in the garage longworths, and a trip to Burwell Fen produced a Brown hare 25+ roe deer which were excellent as were the barn and short eared owls which as the photo shows can fly with their eyes closed.

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Old Monday 26th January 2015, 21:02   #17
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Old Monday 26th January 2015, 22:18   #18
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Cracking pic of the owl with its eyes closed!
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Old Tuesday 27th January 2015, 15:59   #19
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the barn and short eared owls which as the photo shows can fly with their eyes closed.

Mark
Obviously playing three blind mice's buff!

Nice pix Mark.

I was out after Badgers at a different sett last night and once again no pix, though I got an excellent but brief view of one in the open just across the canal. Usually when they first emerge they take time out for a scratch and a wander about the sett, plus a bit of social interaction. Not last night: one quick scratch and as I was lining up the camera, off it went.

Fair enough, I thought: it will be back in five or ten minutes with a double armful of fresh bedding. Forty minutes later I gave up.

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Old Tuesday 27th January 2015, 22:52   #20
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For everyones info. Rainham Marshes RSPB has been reporting sightings of Stoat & Weasel from the trails on just about a daily basis. Also seen recently have been Harvest Mouse, Yellow-necked Mouse, Water Voles & Brown Rats.
There are some excellent pictures on the RSPB web site if you go to Rainham Marshes & look through the recent sightings pages.

Cheers, Simon
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Old Wednesday 28th January 2015, 16:12   #21
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Thanks for that Simon. I may well have a look at the weekend.

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Old Wednesday 28th January 2015, 21:03   #22
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Well, here we are again. Cold and windy outside, and the canal Badgers decided not to play at all tonight - at least, not while I was there. I might have guessed, because they are never very forthcoming when its windy.

However, I dropped some muesli by the path yesterday and doing the same thing today quickly produced a couple of Wood Mice happy to grab a (presumably second) free meal.

Their antics kept me entertained till almost 2000 hrs by which time I couldn't feel my fingers to operate camera and night scope any longer and gave up. Pix later.

Both last night and tonight there were Little and Tawny Owls calling at the site.

John

Pix: Wood Mouse X 3
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Old Thursday 29th January 2015, 08:25   #23
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RFI Harbour Seal breeding colonies

Anyone recommend decent rookeries of Harbour Seal worth visiting, with advice on pupping month (June?)? Ta, James
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Old Thursday 29th January 2015, 19:17   #24
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Anyone recommend decent rookeries of Harbour Seal worth visiting, with advice on pupping month (June?)? Ta, James
Blakeney Point

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Old Friday 30th January 2015, 20:45   #25
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One non-lingering Badger and one non-lingering Wood Mouse along the canal this evening: no pix!

Other mammals today: Rabbit, Grey Squirrel, Roe Deer, all at Moor Green Lakes where the drake Smew, drake Goldeneye and three Goosander (2 drakes) also entertained. Common Chiffchaff and Red Kite at Sandhurst Sewage Farm.

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