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John's Mammals 2019 (1 Viewer)

Britseye

Well-known member
On another note, I recently watched a Stoat hunting, it seemed to be randomly wandering about, before suddenly picking up the scent of an unseen (to me) young Rabbit. The Stoat launched itself onto the Rabbit from about 18" away and grabbed it by the back of the head/neck. Quick as a flash, another unseen Rabbit, adult this time, appeared from the nearby scrub and kicked the Stoat off, the young Rabbit had been silent (to me) during the encounter. The Stoat trotted off and seemed to continue on its way. Three minutes later, with the young Rabbit still where the initial attack had taken place, the Stoat returned and again launched itself onto the Rabbit from about 18" away. This time the Rabbit squealed and once again the unseen adult shot out of the nearby scrub and kicked the Stoat off. Unlike the first occasion, this time the Rabbit took up a hot pursuit of the Stoat and I was able to watch for two minutes as the brambles and Gorse shook where they were chasing about unseen to me. When the bramble movement finally stopped the Stoat reappeared about 20 yards from the young Rabbit and headed off away from its potential meal. I waited around for ten more minutes but saw no further sign of the Stoat. The young Rabbit was bleeding heavily from its head and clearly in the last throes of life from the two attacks so the best course of action was to put it out of its misery.
I've often seen Stoat carrying prey but in forty years this was the first time I'd actually seen an attack, the whole Rabbit protecting the youngster was an added bonus to the sighting.

Fabulous account. Moments like this are so few and far between in a lifetime's Nature-watching and are to be treasured. A few years back, on a farm in Cornwall, I saw a Stoat wrestling with a squealing Rabbit on the brow of a small hill. On seeing me the Stoat ran off a short way leaving the Rabbit to scuttle off a short distance over the top of the hill, momentarily out of sight. A couple of steps took me up and over the hill where a Buzzard with its undercarriage down and talons out was inches away from pouncing on the Rabbit, only to pull out of its pounce suddenly at my appearance. I stepped back for a minute and the Stoat reappeared, finished off the Rabbit and started dragging it back to its burrow. I didn't intervene.

Last year we had an extraordinary display from a family of six Stoats that we captured on a trail cam. A few days later I saw a Rabbit chase three of them across an open area for a few seconds and had to rub my eyes, thinking: isn't that the wrong way round! Your story has helped to confirm I wasn't hallucinating!

I remember 100 birders standing at Potteric Carr in 1984, waiting for a Little Bittern to appear, when all of a sudden, a quivering Rabbit appeared at point blank range, followed seconds later by a Stoat which grabbed it and proceeded to wrestle with it right there in front of us all. (I actually can't remember the final outcome to this event...apart from seeing the Little Bittern!)

All of these events were blink of an eye, ephemeral moments, easily missed if you were looking the other way.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I've said this before, but IMHO, thee are two kinds of Rabbits in this world: those that know they're prey, and those that know they ain't! While I've seen more than a few Stoat kills of Rabbits - and seen them go back and back to plunder a nest of Rabbit kits - I've seen more than a few adult Rabbits hotly pursuing Stoats and bowling them over several times with a massive hind-foot kick if they catch them.

Speaking of odd sightings, I was watching the Carn Gloose Gyrfalcon sitting on its rocky outcrop when I realised it was looking in towards the steep grassy slope alongside. When I looked where it was looking, I saw a Stoat making its way up the slope!

John
 

crazyfingers

Well-known member
March 17 I posted some photos of an Opossum. I saw it again. It's been hanging around the neighborhood.


A gray squirrel was spending lots of time eating seeds that have fallen off the trees onto the garage roof. For white a while it was acting like a normal squirrel and then for a while it sat rigid and still. Perhaps 15 minutes it was flat like this. I can only guess that a hawk was flying around
 

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dantheman

Bah humbug
Came across a couple of melanistic Field Voles the other day - young ones under a corrugated sheet.

Not seen much else recently tbh!
 

kitefarrago

Well-known member
I've recently returned from an organized birding trip to Sichuan and Yunnan. We did quite well with mammals, thanks (in part) to two impromptu night drives. Is there any interest in me posting what we saw and where?

Andrea
 

kitefarrago

Well-known member
The trip took place from mid-May to mid-June, starting in Chengdu and moving roughly counter-clockwise, starting in the north, along the various standard locations to the west of the city: Tangjiahe, Ruoergai and surrounds, Menghi pass from Maerkang, Balangshan, Labahe, Longcanggou.
(I'm going to use the spelling found in most birding literature, letting the syllables run together into one word.)

This was a birding trip but our guide had a significant interest in mammals, so we made more of an effort than might otherwise have been the case. I think it's fair to say that it was larger mammals that were of interest, and we didn't really spend much time on trying to find and identify different rodents. There was then a one week post-trip extension to Yunnan.

We did a spot-lighting drive out of Ruoergai on the public highway between around 20.00 and 21.00, and we were a bit worried about attracting enough attention for the police to come looking for us, but maybe we weren't out for long enough. We were hoping for Pallas's Cat.

We did another such drive on the road into Labahe, this one just to see what there might be.

Mammals seen:

Milne-Edwards Macaque: easy at Tangjiahe, and a bit of a nuisance at Labahe

Woolly Hare: easy on the Tibetan plateau and surrounds

Plateau Pika: ditto

Moupin Pika: seen only once at Erlangshan

Pallas's Squirrel: seen whenever we were in suitable habitat at lower altitude (including in Chendgu).

Perny's Long-nosed Squirrel: seen at Zixishan in Yunnan

Himalayan Marmot: easy on the plataeu

Black Giant Squirrel: seen once at Gaoligongshan in Yunnan

Pere David's Rock Squirrel: seen at Tangjiahe.

Swinhoe's Striped Squirrel: seen at Labahe and in the vicinity of Lijang in Yunnan.

Asian Red-cheeked Squirrel: seen at Gaoligongshan in Yunnan from one of the hides

Complex-toothed Flying Squirrel: seen on our Labahe night drive - we were able to get out of the vehicle and get really good views

Red-and-white Flying Squirrel: ditto

(I haven't had a chance to process my photos yet, and the above is following the trip checklist. I think I may have pictures of at least one more squirrel species.)

Chinese Desert (Mountain) Cat: We did one night drive spot-lighting on a public road out of Ruoergai. We were hoping for Pallas's cat, but we didn't have up-to-date info regarding the location of a particular quarry where apparently quite a few of these reside and are seen regularly, but to make up for that we did find one cat in the spotlight. It stuck around long enough for all to see it before making off.

Asian Leopard Cat: Complete fluke: crossed the road as we were driving in the dark up to the Balangshan pass, and we saw it go up the bank, where it was lit up by our fast-reacting guide.

Grey Wolf: seen spot-lighting from Ruoergai.

Tibetan Fox: ditto

Red Fox: same

(Asiatic) Black Bear: Another fluke. One seen up the hill-side at dusk on our drive to Maerkang - we probably would have missed this one if it hadn't been for a three hour delay caused by a surprise road block.

Giant Panda: Another complete fluke. I wasn't with the group at the time. In Labahe they scrutinized with the scope a white rock at some distance (in an area that would be considered too low according to standard wisdom). When somebody checked again 10 minutes later the rock was gone.

Red Panda: Four individuals at Labahe. The traditional time to look is November, and we were unsure what our chances would be at this time of year. They become active when the sun starts to warm up the valley, and while the first one we saw was found sleeping in a tree (it moved down the tree and vanished into the bamboo as it was hit by the sun), two the others were seen crossing the road not long after. So it seems that they are quite active at that time of day and findable.

Yellow-throated Marten: One ran across the path at Tangjiahe when I was sitting on a bench and happened to look in that direction.

Siberian Roe Deer: Another species seen on the spot-lighting drive from Ruoergai, but also during day time on the plataeu.

Tufted Deer: seen briefly on our Labahe night drive and also at Balangshan

Reeve's Muntjac: seen on the drive into and out of Tangjiahe

Sambar Deer: seen at Labahe.

Takin: easy at Tangjiahe

Red Goral: seen at Tangjiahe and Labahe

Bharal: seen at Balangshan

There's also a species of tree shrew photographed from one of the hides at Gaoligongshan in Yunnan.

Photography was tough regarding most of these since either the encounters were fleeting or we were in the vehicle, and only some of the windows opened on the bus we were in. Still I'm very pleased with this haul.

Andrea
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Crikey, that's some list (or appears to be: I have no idea whether that's what everyone gets -except the Giant Panda - but still wow!) Look forward to trip report in due course, especially photos!

Cheers

John
 

crazyfingers

Well-known member
We have a place in Maine by the ocean across the street from a field that opens to the bay.

I went out on the deck of the house and down in the field a whitetail deer. Male by the nubs on the head.
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
A local Hare form May and some North Wales Goats

Mark
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
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

MArk
 

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WalterRayle

Emeritus Prof at University of the Bearded Clam
United Kingdom
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.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
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
 

jurek

Well-known member
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.
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
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
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
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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