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John's Mammals 2016

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Old Saturday 23rd January 2016, 23:05   #26
Farnboro John
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First Badgers of the year last night along the Basingstoke Canal, also three Wood Mice photographed there. Haven't looked at the pictures yet.

Grey Seal (rubbish view) in the Swale this lunchtime, and a couple of Black Rabbits at Swale NR on a very big mound of earth seemingly dumped by humans (either that or there's a really big rabbit somewhere.....)

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Old Saturday 23rd January 2016, 23:10   #27
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Quote:
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on a very big mound of earth seemingly dumped by humans (either that or there's a really big rabbit somewhere.....)

John
You're thinking the Black Rabbit of Inlé?
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Old Sunday 24th January 2016, 19:50   #28
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You're thinking the Black Rabbit of Inlé?
Shhhhh.... he might be listening and he has really good ears!

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Old Tuesday 26th January 2016, 22:14   #29
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I've now looked at the "Wood Mouse" pictures and discovered that one of them is in fact a Yellow-necked Mouse. Perhaps inevitably its the one I didn't do so well with, but this photographing mammals in the dark is hard work....

Anyway, here are the pix:

John

Badger
Yellow-necked Mouse
Wood Mouse X 2
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Old Tuesday 26th January 2016, 22:43   #30
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This weekend, Muntjac, bank vole and loads of squirrels at a feeding station, more muntjac while watching bitterns in the Lea Valley.

Brown rats in my garden


Mark
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Old Tuesday 26th January 2016, 22:44   #31
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And the bank vole

Mark
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Old Tuesday 26th January 2016, 23:28   #32
Farnboro John
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And the bank vole

Mark
That's a great picture - well done Mark!

John
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Old Wednesday 27th January 2016, 12:52   #33
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A few of us tried for last winter's stoat in ermine at Lakenheath, with varying degrees of success. If you missed it (like me) you might like to know it (or another) is back. Don't know more yet, I emailed the staff at Lakenheath just yesterday to see what the score is, but haven't heard back yet.

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James
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Old Thursday 28th January 2016, 18:50   #34
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A few of us tried for last winter's stoat in ermine at Lakenheath, with varying degrees of success. If you missed it (like me) you might like to know it (or another) is back. Don't know more yet, I emailed the staff at Lakenheath just yesterday to see what the score is, but haven't heard back yet.

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James
I failed last winter and again before Christmas so I'd love to hear any more information.
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Old Friday 29th January 2016, 19:44   #35
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I failed last winter and again before Christmas so I'd love to hear any more information.
Just the one sighting apparently Steve but I asked them to put any more in their blog
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Old Sunday 31st January 2016, 09:19   #36
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Just the one sighting apparently Steve but I asked them to put any more in their blog
I saw it yesterday morning briefly a few times in the same place as last year.
It is about 50% white.

Some poor record shots later, muntjac and another brief stoat the only other things of note.

Mark
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Old Sunday 31st January 2016, 11:29   #37
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I saw it yesterday morning briefly a few times in the same place as last year.
It is about 50% white.

Some poor record shots later, muntjac and another brief stoat the only other things of note.

Mark
Well done Mark. I presume as it's mid winter that's as white as it's likely to get.
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Old Sunday 31st January 2016, 20:26   #38
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Sad news about the Tayside beavers!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35453483

Cheers, Simon
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Old Sunday 31st January 2016, 21:22   #39
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Sad news about the Tayside beavers!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35453483

Cheers, Simon
Yeah. Not news, unfortunately. Scottish landlords achieve another low in brainwork.... frankly they deserve to get flooded.

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Old Sunday 31st January 2016, 21:36   #40
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I saw it yesterday morning briefly a few times in the same place as last year.
It is about 50% white.

Some poor record shots later, muntjac and another brief stoat the only other things of note.

Mark
As promised - not that great but I did warn you.

Mark
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Old Sunday 31st January 2016, 22:03   #41
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Yeah. Not news, unfortunately. Scottish landlords achieve another low in brainwork.... frankly they deserve to get flooded.

John
Just flooded? I do believe you're getting soft! Could we not conjure up some intimate and embarrassing disease for them as well? At least?
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Old Monday 1st February 2016, 18:01   #42
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Just flooded? I do believe you're getting soft! Could we not conjure up some intimate and embarrassing disease for them as well? At least?
I've seen some of the poor people in the Lakes who've been flooded out four times in as many weeks, and if some of these Tayside landowners are as stupid as they seem (I gather some have even been chopping down riparian woodland to discourage Beavers from settling on those stretches: puts me in mind of the Asterix pirate captain sinking his own ship to stop Asterix and Obelix doing so) then they are going to get flooded out repeatedly.

Where they really need Beavers, of course, is further up towards the headwaters and in the Dee, where the nitwit grouse-shooting barbarians have denuded all the hills of tree cover so that vast amounts of water shoot off them to flood areas lower down. Perhaps conservation organisations should be advising those already flooded out that what they need is Beaver ponds upstream, on the main rivers and on all the tributaries. There's too much pussy-footing about not rocking boats in British conservation these days. Go for the throat, that's my advice.

John
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Old Friday 12th February 2016, 21:04   #43
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A very confiding young common seal at Fen Drayton yesterday.

Photos to follow over the weekend.

Mark
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Old Sunday 21st February 2016, 11:20   #44
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Just catching up...

House Mouse in the Bats enclosure at London Zoo on Friday.

Four dead Badgers along the A47 between Norwich and Swaffham last Saturday morning. (My Badgers book for Bloomsbury out in June!)

Muntjac showing well at Santon Downham Norfolk that day

Off to Japan Friday...
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 12:55   #45
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Just been for a stroll up a local wooded hillside, pretty thin birdwise (it was essentially a recce, looking for best spots to search for Wood Warblers when they arrive in a few weeks), but I did encounter a Brown Hare which surprised me somewhat. I've seen countless hares over the years but this was my first in woodland (mostly a mix of Beech & Oak, with some Holly understory, with Birch higher up). Anyone else accustomed to seeing hares in woods?

Cheers

James
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 14:27   #46
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I can think of three or four woods near me where it is not unusual to see Hares. They mostly stick to the rides but can be quite far in from the edge of the wood. In each case they are quite common in the surrounding fields.
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Old Tuesday 1st March 2016, 19:02   #47
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I can think of three or four woods near me where it is not unusual to see Hares. They mostly stick to the rides but can be quite far in from the edge of the wood. In each case they are quite common in the surrounding fields.
Tim
I'm not at all surprised, as we used to see them regularly moving around in the Little Brickhill woods where the Lady Ams were: not a million miles from where you are. They did mostly seem to be moving through rather than living in the woods.

John
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2016, 13:38   #48
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Home yesterday from Sierra de la Culebra. We managed to see a small party of three Wolves fairly briefly and very distantly (although in the panic and hi-adrenaline few minutes, I only definitely saw two).

We were informed that there were just five individuals in the pack in this area and that another individual was killed last year. WTF!

We concentrated our efforts at the Pista de Linarejos viewpoint. There have also been fairly recent reports from the Villanueva viewpoint. Both of these viewpoints (detailed in Mike’s report) are still in use, although tree growth at Villanueva, means that you are probably better to use a slightly different place from the road, rather than down the track detailed. There is a small obvious car park where people were gathering, just before (not after) the block of forest detailed in Mike’s report. Having said that Pista de Linarejos still seems the most popular place to view.

Hope others manage to connect. Really enjoyed the experience (apart from the cold). Phil

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Old Tuesday 8th March 2016, 20:01   #49
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I haven't said much lately. I've been flat out on all sorts of projects as well as being invited to take an interest in work. A quick summary of Sunday which may possibly be of interest to people wondering what to do this weekend:

Clare, Steve and I ventured down to Dorset where we understood the Blandford Forum Otters to be showing well from time to time. Despite one very rude local who apparently had got somewhat pumped by a visitor with a camera but also two chocolate Labradors that dived into the river while everyone else was watching the Otters - he greeted us with "**** off" and all we'd done was say Good Morning - we settled down to wait and after only about half an hour, during which time Ben joined us, spotted the female and two kits coming upstream.

We then had them for an hour and a half....! Absolutely entrancing. Photos in due course. Words fail me to describe the spectacle, they were completely oblivious to the audience - plenty of locals around, quite a lot with dogs but all of those were properly controlled and not a problem. Eventually they scampered up the tunnel that leads up the side of the weir and went off up river.

So we went off to Portesham and the wintering Pallas's Warbler. It was along a back lane that raises those "who on earth found this" thoughts: it was as showy as any Pallas's I've ever encountered - far better than our local one at Moor Green a few winters back - and although it was typically manic it was in the open almost all the time and eminently photographable. Inside an hour, job done.

So back onto our original plan and down to Arne RSPB, the Sika and Water Vole reserve that has birds on it. The voles are viewed around the dragonfly pools down near Shipstal Point. They weren't showing well but with persistence we got views and even had some mildly interesting behaviour with one climbing part way up a gorse bush to feed on the yellow flowers. While we were still contending photographically with the Water Voles, a couple came along and mentioned they'd just had a herd of Sika Deer move through the woods close to them and they'd had nice views "especially of the white stag". WHAT? I've been hoping to get pictures of that for more than a couple of years!

So off we went, although chasing deer in woodland after the fact isn't always a good use of time.... in this case we were lucky in that the deer were in the woodland edge and the open field beyond, including the white stag. Hurrah!

So we had a clean sweep, everything we tilted at showed. A rare and special day. Pictures in due course, I have a lot of Photoshopping to do before I can get them up just because you can take a lot of pictures in an hour and a half of continuous Otter viewing!

John
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Old Thursday 10th March 2016, 21:14   #50
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Some pix from Sunday:

Otters X 5

John
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