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Harvest Mouse Hunt

On a rather dull and wet Sunday in October, several mammal enthusiasts from across two counties braved the weather and joined forces to hunt out nests of the elusive harvest mouse.

A joint event with our lovely friends at Warwickshire Mammal Group marked the start of National Mammal Week and coincided with the Mammal Society’s recently launched Harvest Mouse Project.

Despite the seasonal weather and road diversions aplenty, everyone was keen and eager to find our first nest of the day at Feckenham Wylde Moor. Things started well when after only a few minutes we were treated to the flight of a barn owl along the field edge. Not quite mammal, but a sure sign that small mammals are present in the area.

We continued to practice the breaststroke and rummage – head down – through the tall vegetation (the very technical method for finding harvest mouse nests!). We had a few potential unconfirmed nests, alongside records of a dead common shrew and a dead mole!

Time had flown and we were considering heading back when finally the shout came from amongst the tall sedges: ‘nest!’ Everyone gathered to have a good look and take photos – a great way to finish the survey!

If you’re interested in having a go at finding harvest mouse nests you can find more details on the Mammal Society website or in the survey section of our own website. We are hoping to run another survey and training session in early 2022 but meanwhile don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you want some support and advice to get you going. Happy hunting!

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