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John's Mammals 2020

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Old Monday 24th February 2020, 12:47   #26
Bismarck Honeyeater
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Not wishing to hijack the thread but hoping that some Mammalers will have the information I desire. Last week I saw a Stoat in Ermine on the outskirts of Mildenhall, Suffolk, about 2 miles East of the Cambs. border and 7 miles South of Norfolk. I have only seen two before now, both in Norfolk and the most recent 15 years ago.
How common are these this far South in the U.K.? How much further South do they get? Are they getting scarcer as the Climate ameliorates?
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Old Monday 24th February 2020, 18:47   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bismarck Honeyeater View Post
Not wishing to hijack the thread but hoping that some Mammalers will have the information I desire. Last week I saw a Stoat in Ermine on the outskirts of Mildenhall, Suffolk, about 2 miles East of the Cambs. border and 7 miles South of Norfolk. I have only seen two before now, both in Norfolk and the most recent 15 years ago.
How common are these this far South in the U.K.? How much further South do they get? Are they getting scarcer as the Climate ameliorates?
It is reasonably common, I have seen one at Lakenheath and there have been others in the area, one at Burwell and one at Titchwell in the last few years. They are more common up north where snow is more common but are present in most areas but in less numbers.

Mark

PS We are happy to discuss mammals here you picked the perfect place to post.
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Old Monday 24th February 2020, 18:50   #28
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Not much over the last few weeks, poor weather and weekend working but managed to pop out Sunday briefly and on the way home popped in to see the black squirrels in Letchworth.


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Old Monday 2nd March 2020, 18:39   #29
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News flash:

Best value blip sighting for years: heading down the M3 between the Western Basingstoke junction and the A303 slip road, when a live Polecat appears in the headlights to a shout from Steve, and fortunately ruins like hell for the verge, avoiding my wheels by not very much.

Roadkill has suggested for years that we have quite a few Polecats locally but this is the very first live one I've seen in the area. Woo hoo!

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Old Sunday 8th March 2020, 08:41   #30
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After the Polecat we did encounter a few more mammals through the day: Rabbits by the dozen on a furzy hillside above the pools at Mansands where the Blue-winged Teal gave good scope views but remained aloof near the far side and two Harbour Porpoises heading North past Berry Head.

We also had belting Cirl Buntings at Broadsands and good scope views of the Bowling Green Marsh Long-billed Dowitcher, though this also remained at distance.

Unfortunately the Otter Beavers didn't play, in a river high and murky brown with rainwater. Unsurprising really.

An easy run home included a Barn Owl near Yeovilton.

Since then, not much in the way of mammals, a Bank Vole taking its life in its paws on the local Adder bank (one at least was out) being the only recent year-tick.

John
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Old Thursday 12th March 2020, 07:54   #31
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Three confiding Roe Deer - two bucks in velvet - at Moor Green Lakes yesterday from the road (another two yearlings just left Mum West of the main path). Got some nice pix, well I think so anyway, you shall judge in due course.

Big Whitey came for chicken twice last night. I'm fairly sure he and Rip are an item, and that she must surely be underground with new cubs at the moment: so maybe he's taking some food home for them (Monday night apparently he had five pieces of chicken over the whole evening - two from me and three from Maz!)

The work dog fox trotted across one of the avenues as I was driving in this morning, which was nice.

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Old Friday 13th March 2020, 16:03   #32
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Loads of Fallow deer at Fowlmere RSPB last weekend, not done much else apart from that recently

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Old Sunday 15th March 2020, 17:43   #33
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Popped down to Portland yesterday and dipped the Large Tortoiseshells - present earlier, frustratingly....

Hoping for a Med Gull as a day-saver we stopped briefly at Radipole, finding a second-winter by the reserve centre and a brief but decent view of a Brown Rat at the end of the wooden slats along the shore by the bridge. I find I prefer seeing them at Radipole to in my back garden!

Quite a few Roe Deer in fields on the way down and back.

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Old Wednesday 18th March 2020, 15:04   #34
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Some photos:

Roe Deer group X 2

Honorary mammal: Black Adder X 2

Brown Rat
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Old Sunday 22nd March 2020, 17:32   #35
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Big Whitey visits nightly (sometimes several times) at the moment. Yesterday on his last visit he was all dirtied up with dry soil as if he'd been underground. Most unusual for him, normally immaculate (indeed had been earlier in the evening).

Later in the night Rip visited for the first time for a few days. She was immaculate.... I dunno what's going on but something is.

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Old Sunday 22nd March 2020, 17:59   #36
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At least 4 bats over the back garden right now. Im guessing Pipistrelle as they are little uns.
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Old Tuesday 24th March 2020, 07:22   #37
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Friday at Lackford Lakes the bank voles performed well with some grey squirrels and rabbits. Found a golden rabbit near Lakenheath.
My last non local trip on Saturday was to Wales Goats and Red squirrels

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Old Thursday 26th March 2020, 14:40   #38
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A lunchtime stroll along the River Alyn for our daily exercise today unbelievably yielded up a mammal tick for the boys in the shape of a rather bold and unconcerned American Mink. Although they don't belong, and our biodiversity will benefit from their overdue eradication, I will never not be excited to watch one. We may know they don't belong, but they don't know that, and I can't help but watch them on those terms.
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Old Friday 27th March 2020, 08:14   #39
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While watching the Mink yesterday Sam did say he thought there were two, and on comparing some of the photos last night I do wonder if I might have got pics of both. The one in the hole at the tree base disappeared, with presumably the second being picked up shortly afterwards along the shore. I assumed at the time it was the same beast, but now I wonder.
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Old Friday 27th March 2020, 08:18   #40
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Same beast for me. Fantastic sighting: as you say, they've got to go, but they are charismatic little predators to watch (and when present, a lot easier than our native Polecats!)

I haven't seen one for a few years now. Reluctantly envious!

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Old Friday 27th March 2020, 09:03   #41
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I was delivering medicine down a fairly remote country lane yesterday in Hampshire and had a dead Hedgehog by the road side, how unlucky can it have been given how little traffic there is on the road at the moment?.

Back at home in the evening the regular Woodmouse was inside the bird feeder again enjoying stuffing his face, while a Tawny Owl sat on the garage roof above it, probably oblivious to the snack a couple of feet below it.
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Old Friday 27th March 2020, 16:46   #42
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An ex-weasel

Rather envious of that Mink sighting (although of course I'd rather they weren't here in the first place). Yet to see a live one.

I posted in the 2019 thread a few months ago about a lucky encounter with a Weasel on my patch at Therfield Heath in Herts. Well things immediately returned to the status quo - i.e. no Weasels - until three weeks ago.

The seemingly constant wet and windy weather, and presumed relative lack of voles, had caused the local Barn Owls to hunt regularly in daylight and I spent a few evenings with the camera watching them hunt. I was returning to the car one evening and accidentally flushed an owl that was out of sight in the long grass. On seeing it had prey, I managed to get a quick photo, and on looking at the image was amazed to see it had caught a Weasel! Not sure quite how unusual this but it's certainly not the most common prey item. I imagine they put up more of a fight than the average Field Vole! I guess it temporarily reduces my chances of another encounter with a live Weasel even further, but it was very interesting to see.

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Old Friday 27th March 2020, 17:03   #43
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Rather envious of that Mink sighting (although of course I'd rather they weren't here in the first place). Yet to see a live one.

I posted in the 2019 thread a few months ago about a lucky encounter with a Weasel on my patch at Therfield Heath in Herts. Well things immediately returned to the status quo - i.e. no Weasels - until three weeks ago.

The seemingly constant wet and windy weather, and presumed relative lack of voles, had caused the local Barn Owls to hunt regularly in daylight and I spent a few evenings with the camera watching them hunt. I was returning to the car one evening and accidentally flushed an owl that was out of sight in the long grass. On seeing it had prey, I managed to get a quick photo, and on looking at the image was amazed to see it had caught a Weasel! Not sure quite how unusual this but it's certainly not the most common prey item. I imagine they put up more of a fight than the average Field Vole! I guess it temporarily reduces my chances of another encounter with a live Weasel even further, but it was very interesting to see.

Andy
Great sighting and a remarkable photo - bravo!

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Old Friday 27th March 2020, 18:01   #44
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Superb capture Andy, always something new to see out there, just need to keep 'em peeled. Poor bloody Weasel though!
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Old Saturday 28th March 2020, 08:42   #45
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Big Whitey and his vixen Rip visited together last night. She has no fur on her belly and very full teats: he permitted her to take the first chicken portion from literally under his nose (where I had thrown it for him, to ensure Rip, who is tiny, wasn't bullied by Big Whitey insisting on priority.) So they have cubs.

Photos of the happy couple (well of the individuals) later.

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Old Saturday 28th March 2020, 21:16   #46
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Big Whitey and Rip photographed yesterday evening celebrating cubs with a chicken dinner, waited on by me.

John

Big Whitey

Rip X 2 showing naked belly and swollen teats.
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Old Monday 30th March 2020, 14:29   #47
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Max was chuffed to get his first fox on the trail cam a couple of nights ago.

Rich
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Old Monday 30th March 2020, 14:52   #48
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Max was chuffed to get his first fox on the trail cam a couple of nights ago.

Rich
Its in the right place then, and that's a real skill.

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Old Tuesday 31st March 2020, 09:06   #49
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Have you seen this John

https://www.googleadservices.com/pag...BAgLEAs&adurl=
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Old Tuesday 31st March 2020, 09:08   #50
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Its in the right place then, and that's a real skill.

John
Hes over the moon John
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