Nests Aplenty at Puxton!
To continue our harvest mouse theme into December we arranged some informal surveys, seeking to further contribute data to the Mammal Society’s National Harvest Mouse Survey.
In early December a few of us met at Puxton Marsh in Kidderminster following some recent finds by the Countryside Ranger, Adam Wright, who was our guide for the morning. It was a bright, cold and blustery day but when you have your head down in reed canary grass (and when you’re finding lots of nests) the weather can go unnoticed!
Within only a couple of minutes the first nest was found, which set the tone for the next hour of rummaging. We came away with having found 17 nests in total! Two of those were still thigh-high, attached to vegetation but most were found nearer to the ground having slipped with the reed canary grass, that was slumping under the winter-like weather of the past few weeks.
The bounty of finds made it a great session for comparing nests! Although some were tighter and more robust, and others were worn and more straggly, each had a similar size (a large tennis ball) and form (weaved with long grasses).
As well as finding so many nests to record, it was a lovely opportunity to get to know the fantastic wetlands of Puxton and Stourvale Marshes. It definitely made getting stuck in the Christmas shopping carpark queues worthwhile!