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John's Mammals 2019

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Old Thursday 15th August 2019, 19:05   #51
MarkHows
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Scotland in June, Bottlenosed dolphin Aberdeen, Red Deer Highlands, Feral goat, highlands, Red squirrel, Fort William and COmmon Seal, Seal Sands on the way back

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Old Saturday 24th August 2019, 11:42   #52
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Yesterday (23/08) while undertaking some insect survey in a private Hampshire wood, myself and colleague watched a medium-sized bat hunting along one of the rides for about fifteen minutes between 12.00-12.15 BST. Neither of us had a bat detector with us.
Weirdly, today (24/08) while sky-watching from his Hants garden we had a medium-sized bat hunting for twenty minutes between 10.40-11.00 BST.
On both occasions the sun was shining, the sky clear blue and only a faint hint of breeze, the temperature was about 22oC during both periods of observation. Both bats were patrolling a clear area and both were about 25-40 feet up with only occasional forays below the lower height.

Anyone have any explanation for this behaviour? It's not the first time I've seen bats in daytime in similar conditions either.
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Old Saturday 24th August 2019, 12:19   #53
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Couple of very decent views of an Otter at Croig, Mull over the last week.

Rich
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Old Wednesday 4th September 2019, 17:17   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalterRayle View Post
Yesterday (23/08) while undertaking some insect survey in a private Hampshire wood, myself and colleague watched a medium-sized bat hunting along one of the rides for about fifteen minutes between 12.00-12.15 BST. Neither of us had a bat detector with us.
Weirdly, today (24/08) while sky-watching from his Hants garden we had a medium-sized bat hunting for twenty minutes between 10.40-11.00 BST.
On both occasions the sun was shining, the sky clear blue and only a faint hint of breeze, the temperature was about 22oC during both periods of observation. Both bats were patrolling a clear area and both were about 25-40 feet up with only occasional forays below the lower height.

Anyone have any explanation for this behaviour? It's not the first time I've seen bats in daytime in similar conditions either.
Not sure: I've seen bats hunting in daylight on warm winter days (they do exist) and in early spring, but not August. You'd think there would be enough insects at night. Maybe ask the same question in the bats area?

John
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Old Wednesday 4th September 2019, 17:19   #55
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Couple of very decent views of an Otter at Croig, Mull over the last week.

Rich
Always nice to see! Shetland soon, we usually do well for them up there.

John
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Old Thursday 5th September 2019, 14:49   #56
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Yesterday night I woken to some noise in my home in Switzerland. It turned a mid-sized bat flew in and was hunting in the room. I closed the other doors and opened the window and finally it flew out.
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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 12:22   #57
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Had my first sea watching trip to Strumble Head this morning. Some great birds but also Risso’s Dolphins, Common Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises. Well worth the 3:30 alarm.

Rich
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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 13:37   #58
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Had my first sea watching trip to Strumble Head this morning. Some great birds but also Risso’s Dolphins, Common Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises. Well worth the 3:30 alarm.

Rich
Agreed! Have you had your 5 a day as recommended by RSPB, then? Any seals, rabbits, foxes etc to add to the three cetaceans?

John
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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 13:46   #59
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Agreed! Have you had your 5 a day as recommended by RSPB, then? Any seals, rabbits, foxes etc to add to the three cetaceans?

John
Only a fox unfortunately John.
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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 14:33   #60
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Only a fox unfortunately John.
Plenty of time yet

Congrats on the Leach's lifer as well!

John
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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 14:40   #61
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Plenty of time yet

Congrats on the Leach's lifer as well!

John
Cheers John I was with 2 younger birders I basically know from Twitter. Their knowledge and enthusiasm was incredible. I was for all intents and purposes the taxi driver. But then I do have a white Skoda

Was going to Cornwall tomorrow as well but it’s a long way to go for Flapjacks.

Rich
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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 15:09   #62
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Was going to Cornwall tomorrow as well but it’s a long way to go for Flapjacks.

Rich
Indeed, lucky you decided on Strumble today!

John
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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 19:21   #63
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Bat - Pipistrelle I presume - outside the bedroom window just now. #5 for the day.

Rich
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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 18:56   #64
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From some Recent bat surveying in Wiltshire

Mark

The Alcathoe Bat was from Bosnia not Wiltshire
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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 19:02   #65
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Some more recent mammals

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Old Sunday 15th September 2019, 11:10   #66
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Its a long time since I've done my own proper update but truth to tell I've paid so much attention to Odonata this year that I haven't chased many mammals.

However, some highlights to catch up a bit:

1 June I dropped into Woodwalton Fen ( not literally) and saw a couple of Chinese Water Deer despite it being the middle of a very hot day.

2nd I was in the New Forest after Odonata again, with Clare Dell, and we had Fallow Deer at Latchmore Brook and Bolderwood adding up to about 160 animals in all! There were some black ones in among the bunch at Latchmore Brook and a couple of white ones at Bolderwood, with several pale "menil" individuals at both sites.

I've seen Muntjac in the grounds at work on several occasions this summer: the buck only has one antler, and it appears the other one doesn't grow, its not broken off and last year's notebook records the same deficiency. Which also confirms it's the same buck.

16 July I was on Canvey Island after Southern Migrant Hawkers among other Odonata, and was lucky enough to have a Harvest Mouse run across the path right in front of my feet - a brief but excellent view!

We have had to deal with a Brown Rat infestation along the street this summer courtesy of an old couple, the chap of which is not as sharp as he once was and overfeeds the birds to a ridiculous extent. Maz went a bit crazy when no less than seven were feeding on the newly weeded shingle in our back garden. All available measures were deployed: lethal traps, poison boxes and I invested in an air rifle (every bloke should have an air rifle anyway). Other houses also put poison down in careful, wildlife-friendly (except towards rats, obviously) ways and the situation is now restored to rat-free. This is not the first time we've been through this, and like 007 I can report that the second time is easier.

7 August saw me at Hedgerley Tip for Southern Emerald Damselfly and I had a bonus close encounter with a Roebuck who stood stock still for photos before retreating calmly the way he had come.

24 August I had a massive day out with Steve and Clare, in the course of which we had 2 Grey Seals off Portland Bill and a Field Vole that bolted from the roadside verge into a field across the tarmac path on the far side of the road from Portland Obs before heading off North to Somerset for more Odonata. In the evening/night we finished with a private stakeout for Hazel Dormouse. They didn't really perform but one did visit briefly: no photos and I think only I saw it. Only I also saw a Wood Mouse just beyond the garden wall, though we all got views of the Common Toad that lives in a hole at the bottom of it. The Woodie was a year tick which is ridiculous but indicates how little time I've allocated to mammals this year.

26 August I had a wonder along the Basingstoke Canal from Crookham Wharf and a Bank Vole gave me some decent views and photo opportunities.

13 September I visited Steve in the evening to stake out his regular Hedgehog, which duly turned up but unusually didn't co-operate with photography - normally, I am told, it is quite unbothered by the attention. I did get one decent shot and had a very pleasant evening with my friends.

A couple of times this summer I've seen a Weasel at Moor Green Lakes, but on neither occasion have I managed a photo. Great to see though!

The foxes at home have been very consistent - we have had a vixen change-over, haven't seen White Tip for months so sadly I think she has come to the end of her time. The new vixen, Rip (for a hole in her right ear that I think was probably done by Psycho: Big Whitey has also acquired one) is tiny even by vixen standards, she seems only about half the size of the boys. Whitey's rear left leg is still duff and I guess always will be.

A bit of mulling over led me to a hypothesis about foxes and road traffic accidents. I've had three different foxes with a duff rear leg now and its always the left one. A possible explanation for this would be that we drive on the left, so if a fox is looking to cross the road and a car is coming on the same side as it, it will be coming from the right and the fox will clear its lane in the first half of crossing the road. This is a relatively easy judgement call and an averagely bright and fit fox will get it right or have the speed to be past the danger zone very quickly.

If, however, the car is coming from the left it will be in the more distant lane and the fox will have to cross the whole road before being safe from it. This is a more difficult judgement call and the danger period is later in the crossing, so it is more likely for the fox to get clipped, and if it survives (itself not a given) damage is most likely to be in the rear left quarter. Ergo, foxes surviving an RTA are most likely to have any disability in the rear left leg. Constructive criticism of the premise welcome.... in particular it would be interesting to hear whether people observing foxes where humans drive on the right find the reverse, that hobbling foxes mostly have a duff rear right leg.

It's obvious Mark has had a good mammal summer albeit quite a nocturnal one, hope everyone else is doing well also.

Cheers

John

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Old Thursday 26th September 2019, 19:51   #67
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Some recent small mammal trapping locally

Bank vole, Common shrew, Field vole, Water Shrew and wood mouse


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Old Sunday 29th September 2019, 12:35   #68
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We noticed this really approachable Brown Hare at the Eastern Yellow Wagtail dip yesterday. Presumably really confident in his 'laying low' abilities, to avoid predators. We did not disturb him despite being just a few meters away.
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Old Sunday 29th September 2019, 15:48   #69
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I have been doing some local batting recently.

Barbastelle, Leislers, BLE, Natterer's and Soprano Pip.
Also had Daubenton's as well

Mark
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Old Sunday 29th September 2019, 15:57   #70
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I have finally written up my Bosnian trip report

http://www.hows.org.uk/inter/birds/2...to/breport.pdf


Some nice mammal from the trip

Leisler's Bat, Millers Water Shrew, PArti coloured Bat, Geoffroy's Bat and common vole

Mark
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Old Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 18:11   #71
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News from the North: I'm currently on Shetland being deafened by a smoke detector that disapproves of roasting.

On the way up we dropped in at Loch of the Lowes and had a European Beaver swim from the back of the Osprey bay right round to the hide where it then sat just below the windows stripping bark from amputated twigs and giving fantastic views, to the delight of Roy for whom it was a tick. Fallow Deer also put in an appearance but no Red Squirrels - probably snugged up out of the rain.

The following day we continued up to Aberdeen via Glen Shee where we found a couple of Mountain Hares without leaving the car (wet again). We caught the ferry to Shetland and watched from the deck till the light went, but a single unidentified fin (probably Minke Whale but unclaimable on the view) was the only mammal reward.

Sunday was our first day on Shetland and after bombing up at Tesco and dropping shopping and Maz at the house Roy and I shot down to Grutness for Semipalmated Sandpiper before briefly looking for Sibechat (no sign) and taking in the Daurian Shrike at Levenswick. News of a Bee-eater at Ollaberry had us heading North past Lerwick again in short order and as we arrived at the site we saw people looking out into the sound, where 16-20 Long-finned Pilot Whales were loitering in the middle distance. We had good scope views of these then managed to sort out the Bee-eater to round off an excellent first day.

The next morning we emerged from our gaff at Tresta to find that the Red Grouse I'd so far failed to find for a Shetland tick despite some serious searching are all on the slopes above Tresta! While watching those we also happened to find a Mountain Hare, another thing I'd made a lot of effort for on the islands (with eventual success) - but this one was just sitting in the open and we weren't even looking for it!

Today we started with an easy Red-backed Shrike and from there set off on the first Orca chase of the trip, trying for them at Bigton and Maywick before scooting further North and intercepting them successfully at Wester Quarff, where they proceeded to give us the best views I've ever had of Orca anywhere. Apparently this was "28's pod" - a known individual - consisting of eight Orcas: two adult bulls, five females and a young calf. They were hunting and in fact took out a seal some way South of us - hard to see the action but a couple of people scoping saw blood in the water and I think one of my photos shows a bull with the corpse in its jaws (not sure, haven't downloaded them yet). Once they'd finished with the unfortunate pinniped they continued towards us.

They came to within about a hundred yards travelling at the surface, then dived and didn't reappear until well past us to cause consternation in a large Eider flock near some mussel ropes. Terrific!

John
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Old Thursday 3rd October 2019, 20:06   #72
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Spent six hours today looking for the Snowy Owl near Ronas Hill, without success. Looking for a big white owl sounds easy till you get up there and see how big the landscape is and how much dead ground there is from any given point....

A few Mountain Hares put in welcome appearances and we had the odd Lapland Bunting and some flocks of Snow Buntings over, as well as bizarre sightings of very out-of-context Song Thrushes on peat hags near streams.

As we made our way back to the car, yesterday's pod of Orcas was reported down the road in Ronas Voe and we managed to get there in time to have more views of the No. 27 (not 28, my mistake) pod in great light from the road above the voe. Even after yesterday's acquaintance we were able to identify individual whales. Great views two days on the bounce - fantastic!

Grey and Common Seals and Rabbits made up the day's mammal total.

John
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Old Saturday 5th October 2019, 21:38   #73
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Some pix from the last few days:

European Beaver X 2
Black Grouse (Greyhen)
Changeable weather after leaving Aberdeen on the ferry to Shetland
Semipalmated Sandpiper at Grutness

John
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Old Saturday 5th October 2019, 21:44   #74
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Second part:

Long-finned Pilot Whales
Orca(s) X 2
Mountain Hare (Up on Ronas Hill massif where we spent 6 hours dipping Snowy Owl)

John
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Old Saturday 5th October 2019, 21:47   #75
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Part the third

Orca(s) X 5 Ronas Voe after the hiking round after invisible Snowy - day saver!

John
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