Mammal count

Today the number of mammals we have evidence for increased by two. Up to now the list was (not counting sheep):

  • Field vole – Microtus agrestis – seen scuttling round the edge of the pond
  • European mole Talpa europaea – lots of molehills
  • Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus – lots of noisy activity in the walls and ceilings, at birdfeeders and nibbling our growing plants
  • Grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis – one occasional visitor to the bird feeders as opposed to the constant attention of several individuals back in the city
  • Weasel – Mustela nivalis – that remarkable morning visit

Today we found this: 2015_04_08_01 Common shrew – Sorex araneus, lying beneath one of the conifers where the owl roosts during the day.  Maybe the owl dropped it?  But the shrew was very fresh and found near the end of the day so was it a victim of a daytime hunt or was there another explanation? In the middle of the field is a very large pile of pruned branches left by the previous occupiers.  As sheep are soon to graze this field we thought now is the time to remove it – separating out wood which can be used as kindling and small logs and burning the remainder.  In this picture the pile has already been reduced by about a third: 2015_04_08_02 Ironically this morning we spotted a solitary small rabbit – Oryctolagus cuniculus creeping into this pile. There used to be a large rabbit population here before myxomatosis but now there is very little evidence of their presence. Here is the forecast for tomorrow: 2015_04_08_10 and it pretty much shows what it has been like the last few days too.  Here is tonight’s sun going to bed ready for that busy day it has tomorrow 2015_04_08_03