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John's Mammals 2015 (1 Viewer)

Mike Richardson

Formerly known as Skink1978
Welcome back John.

If anyone's interested in learning more about Polecats (and who on here wouldn't?) I can highly recommend the book below. It's extremely well written and although I'm only part of the way through it I have already learnt loads. For example how the pelage and facial markings of pure animals differ between seasons so Polecats in winter are more easily mistake for Polecat-ferrets. Highly recommended.

http://www.nhbs.com/title/208043/polecats
 

snlw

Simon
Merry Christmas to everyone! Good to see you're back John. Looking forward to getting out more next year than I did this one!
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Thank you all and Merry Christmas. Onwards and upwards... and disregarding Ms Andrews' advice, begin with yesterday rather than the beginning.

Clare and I, obviously stir-crazy after the obligatory family socialising on 25th, skipped off to the New Forest via Romsey where a couple of Hawfinches are frequenting Mercer Way again. We missed those (I think I heard one) but encountered a Brown Rat scuttling along the edge of a brook below the unseasonal Lesser Celandine blooms.

From there we headed for Blashford, but Clare mentioned that she still hadn't seen Red Deer and it was all she needed for a full set of British deer in 2015: so we turned left and down to Puttles Bridge car park South of Rhinefield House. From there we intended to walk up to the edge of Ober Heath but we didn't get there because there Clare spotted two Red Deer stags, one five- and one six-pointer, at the edge of the fenced refuge in the woods that gives them a retreat when the area is over-run with grockles.

They were less than 50 yards away and standing stock-still, so it was cameras into action. Not much light but with a tripod and stationary subjects, so what? When they did move it was only slowly, and they didn't spook as we shifted about for better views. Eventually, however, they detected other people coming - with dogs - and walked calmly to the fence, did standing jumps clean over it and cantered away for about a hundred yards, pausing to look back before disappearing into the forest.

As they had two Dalmatians and were heading to where the deer had disappeared, I mentioned the fact to the couple passing. They stopped and told us the pair were probably two stags known to hang out together all the time, known to the rangers as Wills and Harry. They also mentioned a herd of about 20 hinds and youngsters up the track, so we ambled up there and took a few pics of them, although they were lurking some way from the track.

We never made it to Ober Heath, instead resuming our journey to Blashford. Before reaching there Clare found about twenty Fallow Deer in a hillside paddock near Mockbeggar Lake. We stopped to have a look from a gateway and found that the near field was crawling with Redwings - but there were no rare thrushes hiding amongst them. At Blashford we started in Tern Hide where Clare found the Slavonian Grebe and I picked out an adult Yellow-legged Gull. We then drove down to Hurst Road and spent half an hour peering through gaps in the trees to spot a drake Ferruginous Duck on Kingfisher Lake. We finished in Ivy Lake North staking out Bittern but to no avail, and had an easy run home in very light traffic.

A great Boxing Day out!

John
 

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dantheman

Bah humbug
Season's greetings all.

Mammals (and birds even) have taken a bit of a back seat for me in recent months, but did add a yeartick for the dead mammal list yesterday in the shape of a dead Muntjac on the side of the road at the A13/M25 intersection in Essex - not a particularly good place to be for us or it.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Amazing day yesterday: all morning and early afternoon at RSPB Lakenheath, and the remainder of the daylight around the Ouse Washes. No mammals at all!

We did have a total of 21 Cranes, a nice Marsh Harrier, a Barn Owl and loads of F15s out of RAF Lakenheath. Good day out!

John
 

keith

Well-known member
Have you been to Svalbard John?. I'm going in July next year, I'm not expecting any new birds but the potential new mammals are awesome, I really want to see Polar Bear but there's an awful lot more up there.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Have you been to Svalbard John?. I'm going in July next year, I'm not expecting any new birds but the potential new mammals are awesome, I really want to see Polar Bear but there's an awful lot more up there.

Sadly its at the top of the list of things to do once my Mum passes. Doubly sadly its at the top because I wonder how long the bears are going to last....

I also don't expect any new birds but Polar Bear, Arctic Fox, Walrus, plus possible Beluga, Blue Whale and various photographic opportunities with non-tick spp make it a huge attraction.

John
 

keith

Well-known member
Sorry to hear about your Mum, that's an obvious priority, I'm on a quest to see what I can while we've still got them, we're leaving this planet in a hell of a state for the next generations, but then you know all that, good luck to you in your future endeavours.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Sorry to hear about your Mum, that's an obvious priority, I'm on a quest to see what I can while we've still got them, we're leaving this planet in a hell of a state for the next generations, but then you know all that, good luck to you in your future endeavours.

Thank you, and the same to you Keith, I look forward to hearing about your trip next summer.

Last mammal this year, a Grey Squirrel this afternoon at Greywell.

All ready for the New Year now, Happy New Year in a few minutes everybody!

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Quick summary of 2015 (I will get more done but anyway here goes:

54 mammal spp in the British Isles

46 of those photographed

2 more in the Baltic states (Ringed Seal (tick) and Raccoon Dog) - no pix unfortunately.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Better than my total of 51 with 49 photographed

And only 3 other species outside the UK


Mark

I dunno... photographing 96% of the mammals you see in the year is frankly amazing! I was really happy with my 85% till you said that.

Really good show!

Cheers

John
 

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