Friday, 6 February 2009
Mammalian Garden Tick
Our house is not on the edge of woodland or parkland, and there aren't any really mature gardens nearby, but we do have a bit of scrub on the embankment separating us from the industrial estate and the nearby farmland. Maybe not too surprising that we haven't built up an impressive mammal list for the garden, although there has been one complete surprise before - and that excludes the herd of Fresians that escaped from the fields and roamed the estate a few years ago. Anyway, last night Nichola drew my attention to a Fox helping itself to chunks of bird-cake from the front garden. It didn't seem too bothered by us, but calmly trotted off before I could get the camera sorted. Actually, it was more of a limp as it appeared to have a knackered back leg. Not too surprising these days to have a Fox in suburbia, but actually it's only during the last three years that I've seen any Foxes in the housing areas around Whetstone, and only a couple in the previous 12 years in the nearby farmland. Unlike some other areas of Leicester where urban Foxes are common enough to see them brazenly trotting down pavements in daylight. The Fox brings the garden mammal list to six, the others being Hedgehog, Grey Squirrel, Common Pipistrelle, Wood Mouse and - most surprisingly - the Mole that spent a week tunneling through the front lawn during the 1998 World Cup. Probably not much chance of the mammal list increasing. There are definitely a few voles and shrews in the embankment but the chances of seeing one are virtually zero - other than trying to identify a mangled corpse if a cat leaves one lying about.