Monday, April 19, 2010

Danger Mouse

This little chap showed up in the front garden this month on the 10th April, and is a juvenile Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus. It could easily be mistaken for a Bank Vole due to the blunt nose, but the long tail is the giveaway. The tail would be 50% of the head and body length in a Bank Vole and almost the same as the head and body length in a Wood Mouse.

This mouse did not appear to be very street wise as it was meandering around in broad daylight, even allowing me to get up really close for this photograph. It did appear to have some mates who were behaving quite differently. They were scurrying about under the tree stump ivy, keeping well out of sight.

Unfortunately, as expected, we have not seen this chap again. Presumably, one of the many feline killing machines in the neighbourhood has had a free lunch, or even the local Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus (as photographed below)

Friday, April 02, 2010

First Moths of the year

On the 1st January this year, my two children, Paul and Jenny, gave me a Robinson type Moth Trap for my 60th Birthday present. Since then, I have been putting it out twice a month on suitable dry nights at weekends. It wasn't until the 27th March that I caught my first Moths of the season. These were as follows:
Small Quaker - 5 : Hebrew Character - 1 : Lead-coloured Drab - 1
The Lead-coloured Drab (Orthosia populeti) is shown above, and is the first time I have recorded this species in the garden. The Clouded Drab is far more commoner than the Lead-coloured Drab, and is the more usual species to be recorded in a Berkshire garden. However, the forewing looks round tipped and there appear to be black marks on the inner edge of the outermost cross line, which almost certainly make it a Lead-coloured Drab.