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John's Mammals 2018 (1 Viewer)

dantheman

Bah humbug
An interesting one last week - was looking out of the patio doors at my aunt's house in Lizard Village (Cornwall) to the garden and fields beyond for random birds when I noticed a small black mammal slowly bounding across the lawn ... and into the side border. It then re-appeared, again bounding laboriously and determinedly across a section of short grass before vanishing down the side of the concrete-sided garden pond ...
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
An interesting one last week - was looking out of the patio doors at my aunt's house in Lizard Village (Cornwall) to the garden and fields beyond for random birds when I noticed a small black mammal slowly bounding across the lawn ... and into the side border. It then re-appeared, again bounding laboriously and determinedly across a section of short grass before vanishing down the side of the concrete-sided garden pond ...

Sounds rather like a Mink, depending what you mean by small....

I've been to Dungeness and seen the most beautiful moth I've ever seen, a tick, it was an honest moth twitch, I've looked at it in the field guide for years and drooled but I never thought I'd see an Oleander Hawk Moth!!!

John
 

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birdmeister

Well-known member
United States
Sounds rather like a Mink, depending what you mean by small....

I've been to Dungeness and seen the most beautiful moth I've ever seen, a tick, it was an honest moth twitch, I've looked at it in the field guide for years and drooled but I never thought I'd see an Oleander Hawk Moth!!!

John

What a stunner!

Thanks for the photo.

And I was excited when I saw a probable White-lined... Seems like I have work to do.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I am currently training a new fox: etiquette lessons as much as anything.... I believe it to be this year's cub from White Tip and Big Whitey, and I've mentioned previously that I call him Psycho because he robs violently from both of them - remembering that Big Whitey is a massive dog fox by any measure.

Anyway, the last couple of nights White Tip has turned up and come straight onto the lawn to be fed, while Psycho has emerged from the distant darkness but loitered nearby. As soon as I throw a piece of chicken to White Tip he initiates a chase, and until this week she has run away: but our little vixen is a sharp operator and has now adopted the tactic of moving closer to us (whom she trusts) to keep at bay her son (whom she doesn't!)

He in turn has started becoming bolder, but yesterday as he began to run in really close I spoke sternly to him - and he stopped dead, at which point I threw him a chicken leg directly. He grabbed it and ran off to eat it, while White Tip fed calmly right in front of us. Both of them then wandered off, but half an hour later were back. Again I fed White Tip first, and Psycho started towards her, then looked at me, stopped and sat down - at which point I fed him again.

Once he's got the idea that he doesn't have to fight and disrupt to get fed, I can start camera training him.

John
 

MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Apologies, its been a busy week: I was at Fowlmere on Monday looking for both Stoats and Water Shrews.

I've never had to work so hard there for any mammals at all! Clare saw three Fallow Deer (2 + 1) all of which shot off so fast I missed them: we heard a Muntjac barking but couldn't find it, and late afternoon I had a two-second view of a Water Shrew along the trout stream. Water Shrew was claimed from the Drewer Hide early morning but a chap who'd been in the hide since at least 0700 knew nothing about the sighting.

Normally there's a good deal of rustling in the grasses and reeds and you can find Bank Voles, Wood Mice and Common Shrews fairly readily, but Monday the place was silent. My perception is that this year there is a severe shortage of all small mammals and anecdotal evidence is that the heatwave has knocked out quite a lot that don't live very close to permanent water sources: but that doesn't apply at Fowlmere. Do others think there has been a small mammal crash?

I would also normally expect to see Rabbits around the reserve - I've got down to a few yards with them along the stream in the past - but none were visible and droppings were practically non-existent. This actually gels with the Stoats birds-nesting. The Mammal Society booklet on Stoats and Weasels states that this is a fall-back when Rabbits and in Weasels' case mice etc have crashed - but that it is ineffective in preventing a following crash of the predatory species. Next year may be a bit thin for sightings of Stoats and Weasels.

John


Deer numbers are down since they started shooting them on the reserve (both fallow and muntjac), previously they were only shot off the reserve so the reserve had a good number of deer present. Agree with the heat affecting small mammals and particularly their food and you would have seen the lack of water at Fowlmere on your visit.

Mark
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Deer numbers are down since they started shooting them on the reserve (both fallow and muntjac), previously they were only shot off the reserve so the reserve had a good number of deer present. Agree with the heat affecting small mammals and particularly their food and you would have seen the lack of water at Fowlmere on your visit.

Mark

Thanks Mark. Do you know if this is management to retain a population or attempted extirpation?

John
 

MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Just a quick catchup which has mostly been bats recently of 9 species.

Photos, Barbastelle, Brant's, Bechsteins, lesser horseshoe, natterer's.

Other, Greater horseshoe, whiskered, daubenton's and Brown long eared.

Mark
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
A nice hour at Wendover last weekend with the Edible Dormice

Mark
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
Drove up to Scotland the day before yesterday and scored on Beaver at Loch of the Lowes in the evening: not a long sighting of the adult but clear at the far side of Osprey bay from the hide. Two bats at dusk appeared to be a pip and a Daub but I'd left the detector in the car. Twenty plus Fallow Deer in the woods on the way back to the car.

Yesterday morning two Red Squirrels were chasing each other through the trees, chittering intermittently. I'm not sure I've ever heard a Red Squirrel call before! Up at Glen Shee we had a couple of Red Deer feeding near the Cairn Well ski lift (not running, sadly) and scope views of five Mountain Hares near the summit. However, there was no roadkill of hares: just a few grouse.... presumably the morons are culling them there as well.

No sea mammals from the boat yesterday evening but a few Common Seals around today in between twitching Yellow-breasted Bunting and missing a Barred Warbler (heard it, but it skulked: a Hawfinch flew over). Back at base an Otter showed for a few minutes before disappearing round the corner on his patrol.

John
 

MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
I have finally finished my trip report from Romania, some nice mammals seen.

the best Romanian hamster, but Kuhls Pipistrelle, Lesser mole rat, striped field mouse and European Sousliks (all in photos) and steppe mouse were all good to see.

Report here for those interested

http://www.hows.org.uk//INTER/birds/2018photo/romania report.pdf


Mark
 

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Sangahyando

Well-known member
I have finally finished my trip report from Romania, some nice mammals seen.

the best Romanian hamster, but Kuhls Pipistrelle, Lesser mole rat, striped field mouse and European Sousliks (all in photos) and steppe mouse were all good to see.

Report here for those interested

http://www.hows.org.uk//INTER/birds/2018photo/romania report.pdf


Mark
Interesting report; couldn't help but notice though that the birds are not entirely in taxonomic order :-O
Striped Field Mice can also be seen in Germany (the NE third or so); they seem to like hornbeam hedgerows.
 
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Isurus

Well-known member
good luck to anyone going for the beluga. If you have a chance to ask it to stick around for a couple of weeks please do!
 

snlw

Simon
Lucky enough to see the River Thames Beluga this afternoon. Not something I expected to see in UK waters let alone this far south. I've now seen Beluga & Northern Bottlenose Whales in this one river. Unbelievably lucky for me & hopefully a better outcome for the Beluga than for the BNW.
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
Lucky enough to see the River Thames Beluga this afternoon. Not something I expected to see in UK waters let alone this far south. I've now seen Beluga & Northern Bottlenose Whales in this one river. Unbelievably lucky for me & hopefully a better outcome for the Beluga than for the BNW.

Wanted to say that it Belugas Belief (probably sounds better in my head). Nice one!!


What would the Thames River cetacean list be in recent times I wonder? How many of the general range of 'common' whales and dolphins have occurred? But what about the commoner rarities?
 

Isurus

Well-known member
Lucky enough to see the River Thames Beluga this afternoon. Not something I expected to see in UK waters let alone this far south. I've now seen Beluga & Northern Bottlenose Whales in this one river. Unbelievably lucky for me & hopefully a better outcome for the Beluga than for the BNW.

I missed the BNW, spent hours questing for it into the darkness on Friday, gave up and went for a kebab and then spent the weekend watching on tv as thousands saw it whilst I recovered from the effects of said kebab.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Not much to report from Shetland, Grey and Common Seals daily and Rabbits for that matter: feral Ferrets so far only roadkill, ditto Hedgehogs.

Not a whole lot of rare birds either, Red-backed Shrike and a cracking Golden Oriole yesterday best for a couple of days, Southern Britain has a nerve garnering the best Arctic mammal down there while we're "stuck" up here!

John
 

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