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John's Mammals 2016 (1 Viewer)

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Got my first House Mouse of the year this morning in the garden of our gaff on Shetland, otherwise no mammals today of any significance: 40 Long-finned Pilot Whales reported at north end of Bressay Sound had gone by the time people arrived from any distance (we didn't try, just heard later).

Late news from yesterday, a heads-up from Jungle Cat that the Aurora Borealis was going to show from Scotland last night resulted in a dash to Esha Ness and a great light display (for us, who only saw a faint glow on the horizon last year) in the sky to the North.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Otter distantly from the garden this morning, along with two Yellow-browed Warblers in the garden.

Other than that just the usual Rabbits and Grey Seals all day, plus roadkill news: dead Feral Ferret on the road to Esha Ness.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Some pictures from the Shetland trip to date - not all mammals or even animals but a definite flavour:

Grey Seal

Drakkar (Viking Longship)

Hedgehog

Gannet

Kittiwake

Cheers, John
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
And the Aurora Borealis (we were really chuffed with this):
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
And finally some birds:

Twite

Bluethroat

Yellow-browed Warbler X 3

Cheers, John
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
A good day out yesterday although the only interesting mammal was our first black Rabbit of the trip, along the road from Hillswick to Esha Ness.

The Ness held much the same birds as the previous day, a drake Mallard (I know, scraping the barrel), a Grey Plover and a single Snow Bunting being the new birds in. It was extremely windy but we managed to do our circuit between the intense bursts of rain.

We then decamped to the Collafirths where a female Merlin sat up on a telegraph pole for pix but was flushed by another car before Roy got his. Another of the ubiquitous Yellow-brows, a very confiding Red-breasted Flycatcher, a Pied Flycatcher that was much less helpful and a Redstart were all enjoyable. On the way back into Hillswick we had that unique Shetland experience: yet another Yellow-browed Warbler shot out of a ditch next to the car and then flew along in front of it for a hundred yards or so, finally turning off left to the Stucca housing estate.

In the afternoon we dragged Maz out kicking and screaming that she's not a birder and doesn't "need" anything, for a trip over the moors to Aith where a Greenish Warbler was again "showing well" - in our minds, after the last few days, the word "allegedly" went after that. Fortunately it turned out that the bird was indeed being helpful, and not only gave good views and allowed photos but enabled us to hear the unusual directions of "Its just left of the Tyrannosaurus rex"! One might expect an instruction to run or hide to follow that.....

Nailing the Greenish (and another YbW) put us in pole position as news broke of a Brown Shrike on the other side of the small village, and after a brief excursion up onto the moors we ended up with a crowd at the corner of another small housing development watching the juvenile bird feeding along a fence dividing pasture from moorland. It fed towards us for about a hundred yards over 45 minutes then unaccountably flew all the way back to its start point and started again, at which point we gave up on it and headed for Frankie's Fish and Chips in Brae(recommended).

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
A quiet day yesterday (by comparison) with "only" a Red-breasted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike and a lingering Yellow-browed Warbler of real note. However, an upturn in mammals with a distant sighting of the local dog Otter in the morning and a much better view with some ordinary but satisfying photos in the afternoon: Rabbits and Grey Seals on and off throughout the day and then a Hedgehog rolled up on the road as we came home from a dip on the Aurora at Esha Ness (magnetic activity too early and not dark enough to see it.) I managed to straddle the Hedgehog with the wheels and we confirmed by torchlight that it was OK before driving the rest of the way home.

What a difference a day makes.... I write this in a state of nirvana early evening at Hillswick having watched my first Lanceolated Warbler, my big tart and last Northern Isles speciality down to two feet at Boddam, South Mainland this afternoon. A delightful little bird and even my eyesight is good enough at that range! Having clocked that we then wandered further South to Sumburgh Head to have a bash at Fulmars with the camera and scan for cetaceans. No sooner had we arrived and deployed than a car came up in a rush and a head out of the window asked if we had the Orcas. What Orcas?

We dashed up to the lighthouse (well I did, Maz and Roy preferred the less steep path to the west side of the head) where a number of observers were muttering about only being able to see a couple of Minkes: but eventually they found the huge vertical dorsals of two bull Orcas and the sickles of a female and a small animal, probably a juvenile. Distant, but Orcas are always special and we enjoyed them travelling North-west beyond Scatness. Rubbish photo later!

At the start of the day there were again two Yellow-brows in our garden and we added Common Seal to the trip list in the loch.

Three dead ferrets on various roads today.

John
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
Probably a lot more mundane, but nearly ran over my first badger earlier this evening. Fortunately we both managed to stop in time.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Probably a lot more mundane, but nearly ran over my first badger earlier this evening. Fortunately we both managed to stop in time.

Well done both of you!

Dog Otter showed well this morning but my camera was back in the flat. Roy had his bridge camera and got decent results with that.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
We tried for the Aurora again tonight (magnetic forecast good from nine to ten pm) - absolutely no Northern Lights but a Feral Ferret trotted across the road in front of us showing very well in the headlights. Unfortunately closer to Esha Ness a Rabbit that wasn't even on the road suddenly decided on suicide by car and ran straight under the front wheels. I could feel the bump through the steering wheel.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Dog Otter was catching Butterfish at a rate of knots right outside our windows this morning, got some pix this time!

Other than that just Rabbits today. We have found that many of them on Shetland live above ground in forms rather than warrens - presumably a consequence of the wet peaty ground.

John
 

Scridifer

Registered User
Supporter
Bulgaria
Just back from three days in Vitosha and the Rila Mountains where I got 14 new birds!
Mammal highlights included Wolf tracks, Weasel, Red Fox, several Souslik and five Balkan Chamois.

Chris
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
A quick catch up, which has been mostly bats
Lesser and Greater Horseshoe, Natterer's and Daubentons, Brown long eared bat and Bechstein's


Mark
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
And a few more including one of the many house mice in my garage.

Brant's, Greater Horseshoe, Whiskered and Brants, Whiskered.

Mark
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
A catch up of recent sightings.
Local Bat catching produced all three pipistrelles' and Daubenton's, a trip to North Wales was very productive with goats, grey seal, harbour porpoise, bottlenosed dolphin, risso's dolphin.

Locally muntjac, roe and fallow deer and red fox.

Mark
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Being Mammal Week I ran a small mammal trapping event at work to educate my colleagues, here is some of what I caught.

No prizes for identifying them

Mark
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
And a few more as Mammal week ends

Mark
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
Feeding the foxes tonight it occurred to me I haven't said a lot about them lately. We currently have three regulars: Black Notch ("Blackie" - yes, I know, I'm sorry, it just happened), Double Top and what seems to be one of this year's cubs.

Blackie is now at least two and a half years old. He's been coming to us for almost two full years and he must at least have been a cub of the previous year: then he was slim and gangly, now he's thickset and muscly. In the course of that he's been bitten and ripped in a fight for dominance, and had what I suspect was an RTA about a year ago, since when his left hind leg has never worked properly. He can stand and walk on it but holds it up when running. He and his mate have bred both years.

He's a smart cookie. I've narrated before how he managed to think his way through communicating to me that he wanted a second chicken leg immediately so he could take both home rather than hanging around in the rain. He knows his name. He will check when pursuing one of the other foxes if I call him. He will sit still for pictures while I move around outside. He seems to get tone of voice: when I tell him that's the lot after two or three morsels, he goes straight off.

He and the other foxes also now play a sort of chess in which they all recognise that Blackie being an inveterate thief, the others need a distance advantage to grab their chicken and outrun him, so they will sit really close to the door (closer than he likes to) and then scuttle a little way when we open it.

Basically I feed him first so I can do the others' handouts while he's noshing: usually he will carry on eating but sometimes he will chase them. Sometimes if all three are around, his chasing results in his own leftovers being nicked.

What I never do (nor does Marion) is try to get him to hand feed. I'm sure I could but it would be wrong, we should keep that few yards distance.

Anyway, here are a couple of recent pictures of Blackie.

John
 

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dantheman

Bah humbug
And a few more as Mammal week ends

Mark

Getting that pair in the third pic in one of your small mammal traps must have been a bit of a shock ... :eek!:

Bit rubbish on small mammals ... think I have some of them though. Did disturb a Common Shrew from under some wood today which was nice.
 

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