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John's Mammals 2021 (1 Viewer)

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Hi all, we'll see whether this year can be any better than last year.... I'm, hoping so!

Here is the annual thread for news of your achievements, recitations of great encounters, hot spots to hit while they are still hot and so on.

I'm a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes, and there's a strip of that in which Calvin muses on the fact that despite not having done everything he wants to, his dad seems to be slowing down: "Not me", declares Calvin, "you can bet that by dad's age I'll be going like a geezer!"

I suggest that should be what we all do this coming year, subject to local restrictions....

I feel the need - the need for mammals!

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
January 1st is really about birds but I managed to pick up five mammals on the way round:

A Brown Hare found by Steve as we were working our way round the farmland round Odiham (in separate cars, as we were all day)

Grey Squirrels bouncing about in trees in the same area

A male Grey Seal near the entrance to Pagham Harbour

Twelve or more Roe Deer including a small herd of eight together (they do group up in winter sometimes)

Finally a Rabbit at Farlington Marshes.

Since then I've heard Red Foxes mating out the back of my house (haven't seen them since just before Christmas, they've obviously been on important fox business with no time to drop round for chicken.)

John
 

MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Very little so far as I cannot leave the house, but this wood mouse came to me

Mark
 

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dantheman

Bah humbug
I'm on 4 for the year - a fox disturbed on my walk today, rabbits yesterday whilst taking my car for it's MoT (had a wander whilst waiting), Short-tailed Field Voles under corrugated cement sheets (not sure of they contain asbestos or not!) on the 2nd, and a Grey Squirrel on the 1st.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I've just fed Big Whitey - he looked well: Scally chased him off soon after (I managed to call the latter back before a fight happened) but he's all right. I might cry....

John
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
A beautiful image of this Fox.

I get one that comes by every now and then and I always smile. Not so with any rodents though thankfully. Well except squirrels
 

Julie50

Mostly in the Midlands :)
Supporter
United Kingdom
Great pic John. I saw 3 foxes when “running” this morning.A close matched and small looking pair, would they be this year’s offspring? Then a larger solo :)
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Great pic John. I saw 3 foxes when “running” this morning.A close matched and small looking pair, would they be this year’s offspring? Then a larger solo :)
I'm not 100% because there are variables like late litters but I think cubs have mostly dispersed by now, so two foxes together more likely to be a pair. Size variation in full-grown animals is mainly sexual dimorphism - vixens are noticeably smaller - but cubs in their first winter, even when just about full-grown, seem to have slightly thinner coats that make them on average a bit smaller. A big solo is a good bet as a dog fox.

John
 

KenM

Well-known member
Just the 4 (grdn.) mammals for me so far this year, Grey Squirrel, Fox, Wood Mouse and Muntjac with the latter becoming more frequent. Although an “intro” they’re kinda growing on me, and if we ever get to rationing....they might replace the Sunday joint! 😄
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Just the 4 (grdn.) mammals for me so far this year, Grey Squirrel, Fox, Wood Mouse and Muntjac with the latter becoming more frequent. Although an “intro” they’re kinda growing on me, and if we ever get to rationing....they might replace the Sunday joint! 😄
Good eating I believe. I missed the chance of a haunch at a farmers market years ago and haven't seen it anywhere since.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
News from last night: at a mere 1730 hours a scan round from the front door with my night rig revealed two lots of eyeshine close together on the green left of the house. A speculative photo (they were a good 50 yards off) revealed what I'd suspected: a pair of Red Foxes in a coital tie. Shameless! Brave, too, or just sexually avid: plenty of people around at that time of night, home from work or walking the dog. Wouldn't envy foxes caught in a tie by a dog. I took a couple more shots but wasn't prepared to risk disturbing them by attempting an approach. Low quality fox porn on here in due course. From the shots I can't be sure if the further fox is vixen Rip, but the near one is definitely not Big Whitey or Scally.

John

Pictures:

First one of Scally from the same night as Big Whitey

20210106 (2)_Red_Fox.JPG

Then three of the mating foxes. Not great - and the eyes are flashed right out at that range - but not something you see all that often. Well, I don't, anyway.

20210107 (1)_Red_Foxes_Mating.JPG


20210107 (2)_Red_Foxes_Mating.JPG


20210107 (3)_Red_Foxes_Mating.JPG
 
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Farnboro John

Well-known member
A few views of Grey Squirrels across the brook in the last couple of weeks but apart from calls (considerable out the back when they emerge, odd contact calls from all directions later in the night) no sign of our foxes. Hopefully they are still on important fox business and haven't forgotten us. I checked last year's notebook and they didn't resume visiting till 18/1, but we are past that now.

John
 

WalterRayle

Emeritus Prof at University of the Bearded Clam
United Kingdom
On a quick walk around the block this morning I found a roadkill Hedgehog, seems to be a common thing at this time of year down here in southern Hants. I think that's three years running now I've had a roadkill one in Jan. Quite a decent sized beast too, so not underweight and starving. Still can't understand, given where it was, how anyone could have been going fast enough not to see it and avoid it.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
On a quick walk around the block this morning I found a roadkill Hedgehog, seems to be a common thing at this time of year down here in southern Hants. I think that's three years running now I've had a roadkill one in Jan. Quite a decent sized beast too, so not underweight and starving. Still can't understand, given where it was, how anyone could have been going fast enough not to see it and avoid it.
You'd be surprised how close to the car they can start from the kerb and still get out as far as the wheels. And most drivers' attention is further down the road. The driver probably never saw it at all, just felt the bump.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I was heading for bed last night and had that "last look around" from the bedroom window. Fox heading away up the path towards the car park. Hurriedly donning a robe I scooted downstairs, opened the front door and called. Fox stopped and with repeated calls, trotted back towards me.

Meanwhile Maz fetched some ham (the only thing we had handy) from the fridge and Big Whitey, whose tail has resumed its normal jaunty upturn, got some dinner. By tonight we'll have some drumsticks sorted out.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Opened the front door last night at about 2130 to see Big Whitey (no mistaking his massive pale form and upturned tail) slip away behind the shrubbery opposite. Calling didn't bring him back - and I had a nice drumstick for him! Still, things seem gradually to be getting back to normal.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Fed a fox last night - it came to my click call, so it's one used to me, but I didn't identify it as an individual. It wasn't Whitey (too dark) or Rip (too big) but that leaves at least three suspects.

We seem to be gradually getting back to normal, which is nice.

John
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
Good eating I believe. I missed the chance of a haunch at a farmers market years ago and haven't seen it anywhere since.

John
It is good eating. A stall, within walking distance, has starting selling it. You help yourself and transfer the money, They've made a fair bit out of us recently. Was a thermal scope on your Christmas list? I think is a game-changer. I'm going to get one as soon as I'm confident of travel. I wish we'd had one in the Western Sahara.
 

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