Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

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.


Anonymous said...

As I live out here in the wastelands of NE Leics, I have deliberately tried to record as many mammals as possible for my garden list. For the record; Brown Long-eared Bat, Pipistrelle, Hedgehog, Fox, Grey Squirrel, Weasel, Stoat, Brown Rat, Wood Mouse, Short-tailed Vole and Common Shrew so far (no mole yet!).

I've found Otter spraint by a stream within 200m of the garden, but I doubt one will ever come closer.

I'd love to borrow a bat-detector in the summer to see which other species are intercepting my moths attracted to my garden moth-trap.

I use a Longworth Live-trap to catch some of the smaller stuff for ID and I'd gladly lend it to you if you're interested ?
Shrews just love bacon rind :-)


Skev said...

Might be worth a try Keith - not sure if there is a particular time in the year to have a go? Let me know how you get on with the bat detector aswell - would be interesting to know if our local colony are 45kHz or 55kHz (or both?).
I quite happy to not have Rat or House Mouse on the list - though no doubt both are present around the industrial estate.
I've halved the chances of getting another Mole by having the front lawn obliterated by tarmac ...

Anonymous said...

I'll dig it out again for you........ when I'm fit enough to clear the garage out.

BTW: Do rodents brough home by our one remaining cat count as introductions, or adventives ?