Tuesday, 25 November 2014

More mammal recording

This week we have been out with a man from our local record centre to do some more mammal trapping. With the clock change we set out at about 3.30 to set up the traps. We had 20 of the longworth traps to put out.

We had a production line going - filling with bedding, then seed, apple and castors

Time to log the locations to make finding them the next day easier!
Steve showed Ben how to log GPS coordinates

We had to make sure we located them in some undergrowth, with the tunnel part flat and the main bit at a slight angle to prevent them from becoming waterlogged if it rained. Then camouflage them with some leaves.

The dark seemed to come on us quickly and the last lot were tricky to place but we got all 20 down in various habitats - in bracken, brambles, grassland and down near the stream.

It was an early start the next morning (Ben was not pleased to be out of bed at this time) - 7.30 we were on our way to the woods - its important not to leave the animals in the traps for too long.

Well out of the 20 traps we had 6 tripped with 5 wood mice and a shrew! 

Wood mouse looking for a way out

Wood mouse disturbed from its bedding

You can see the pointy nose on the shrew

Spot the disappearing tail near the middle of the photo!
Our friend from the local record centre was pleased to catch a shrew and showed us the special licence he had to allow him to trap these! Apparently shrews are unpleasant to eat so don't have many predators except owls, but we had heard some owls the previous evening. The shrews distinguishing features are its long narrow nose, it has silky brown fur with a grey underside.

We were also shown how to record these animals on the national database RODIS (Record Online data input system)

Steve has also given us some owl pellets from a long eared owl to dissect and identify the animals eaten by it - sounds fun!


  1. This is an amazing experience to see some wildlife up close!

  2. I enjoyed reading this again as I put together the blog carnival. Thanks again for being a faithful supporter of the OHC.