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John's Mammals 2020 (1 Viewer)

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Monday night Big Whitey was there on the lawn, going "'Ullo, you're back then. Chicken please": the following night nobody, then on Wednesday it was fox city with Rip, three leggy cubs and Big Whitey (last to the party) all milling about at the front together. Two of them have got the idea of coming to the far edge of the lawn and waiting to be fed but the third just steams back and forth along the path a bit nervously.

So far that's the limit of the cubs demonstrating separate personalities, and I don't yet have photos of all of them to work out some field marks and names for them. Most years the cubs don't turn up at all so this is a bonus - hopefully photographically as well.

John
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
As we left Llandudno this morning after year ticking Lapland Bunting on the West Shore beach we spotted a group of the Great Orme Goats high up on the slopes. Don't think they're technically tickable, but nice to see nonetheless.
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
As we left Llandudno this morning after year ticking Lapland Bunting on the West Shore beach we spotted a group of the Great Orme Goats high up on the slopes. Don't think they're technically tickable, but nice to see nonetheless.
I agree with you these are just a bit too limited in their environment (there are some unfenced ones at Cheddar that I also wouldn't recommend) - but smart looking animals all the same.

Luckily for you there are normally some not far away up the A5 pass around Cwm Idwal, or round at Beddgelert.

Cheers

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
After several years of acquaintance with my local foxes they can still surprise me. This morning I drove out of Houseman Road on my way to work and almost immediately came to a screeching halt, as did the car coming the other way, as two foxes belted along the close-cut lawn at the roadside and the pursued veered into the road between us.

The second fox stopped its hot pursuit without going into the road and skittered left until it could peep at us round the bole of a fairly small tree: looking left from the car I couldn't help laughing at the pathetic attempt to become invisible, and I could see more than enough of the fox to address him directly: "Whitey, what the hell do you think you're doing?" Big Whitey, my dog fox of four years with a partly disabled left rear leg, had an interloper running for its very life, broad daylight and never mind who's watching. Still top dog.

John
 

MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Plenty of deer recently Roe, Muntjac, fallow and Red
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
I put a few traps down in my little nature reserve and caught plenty of wood mice and bank voles
 

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MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
A rescued bank vole and melanistic grey squirrels from the weekend

Mark
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
Its some while since I reported on the foxes and the situation has changed, not necessarily for the better.

Big Whitey is MIA. I am not quite prepared to write him off yet as there are still occasional sightings of a hippity-hoppity limping adult male, but we haven't confirmed him for weeks (since I saw him in daylight chasing an interloper) and another adult dog fox, with a badly bitten ear and face, has been lording it over the cubs and swaggering around as if he owns the place. He is now named Scally for his scalloped ear (he actually has a piece out of it, not just a couple of rips in it).

However this evening and for a day or two I haven't seen him, and today Rip and Whitey's two cubs, Smudge and the so far un-named Cub Two are suddenly very big, roaming together and Rip, who has been keeping a low profile, trotted right up to the step to be fed. In fact the cubs are so big that having given each fox a piece of chicken - all eaten without scrapping - I found they were inclined to stalk Rip when after some considerable guile she sidled up to an egg I put out and began to eat it on the spot (normally she would mouth it and take it away). So I depended on my long and friendly relationship with Rip to move forward from the doorway and loom sufficiently to put them off nicking her egg. It worked well, Rip stayed put and the boys backed off.

Once she'd finished it and moved off, I put two more out, one for each of them, and left them to it.

While all this was going on I took a bunch of photos, mostly to try to confirm who I was seeing. I'll put some up in a day or so, along with one or two of the last ones I took of Big Whitey.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
The day before Christmas Eve I looked out early evening and a fox on our lawn went slowly away towards the green, hopping slightly on his rear left: a big pale fox with a jauntily upcurved brush.... he looked round once when I called, but continued on his way, round the corner and out of sight. Was it? Could it be? Has he just moved down one territory? Has the boundary just moved a bit? No camera of course.

I'll keep looking. All of the little blighters have gone on their Christmas hols at the moment, they do this every year but I miss them till they return to eat us out of house and home - the fridge is full of drumsticks for them as a result, we stocked up just as they disappeared!

John
 

MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Very little to report only 35 species of UK mammals this year, worst effort for a long time.

Brown hare and Chinese water deer pretty much the only things of note recently

Hoping for a better 2020, Happy New Year

Mark
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
Comfortably beat me, a mere 29 - no, 28: just discovered I've written down Harbour Porpoise twice on my year list, doh! - this year of which the highlight was a Polecat on the M3 (really!) on 1 March - I was lucky not to hit it.

Things can only get better.....

Happy New Year and Good hunting all, who keep the Jungle Law.

John
 

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