Nest confirms continued Harvest Mouse presence at Thames Road Wetland

A Harvest Mouse nest was found at Thames Road Wetland on June 20th, whilst cutting vegetation to maintain access along the path on one of the ditch bunds. It was only a couple of inches above ground, and woven into grass leaves that were clearly of 2016 growth, which proves that it was made this year. Several nests of this, Britain’s smallest rodent, and a rarity in London, were found quite unexpectedly in 2014, but none were discovered last year, so it is a joy and a relief to secure confirmation that the species is still present.

This first Harvest Mouse nest was found at Thames Road Wetland in 2014 (Photo: Chris Rose)

This first Harvest Mouse nest was found at Thames Road Wetland in 2014 (Photo: Chris Rose)

In addition, a number of the feeding tubes baited with seed, located where most of the 2014 nests were found, and rigged to make it difficult for Wood Mice to get to them, continue to have their contents reduced to husks after every refill.

The Mark II Harvest Mouse lure (foreground), to be baited with birdseed, is only supported by dead Reed stems, which should increase the chances that usage indicates continued presence of the species, compared with the Mark I version in the background, underslung on a bent over Willow branch, which may have been easier for Wood Mice to get into. (Photo: Chris Rose)

The Mark II Harvest Mouse lure (foreground), baited with birdseed, is only supported by dead Reed stems, which should increase the chances that the usage observed indicates Harvest Mouse feeding compared with the Mark I version in the background, underslung on a bent over Willow branch, which may be easier for Wood Mice to get into. (Photo: Chris Rose)

A rainy morning having given way to a sunny afternoon, a number of basking Common Lizards were seen. A lot of mounded ant’s nests have appeared recently, including in the middle of the lizard basking tyres, which is somewhat unhelpful! A male Reed Bunting was calling. The small group of horses, which now has a young foal, were grazing on the east side of the Wansunt.

As befitted what was almost the longest day of the year, a pair of Swifts turned up late on and were still swooping low over the site at 21.52, when what looked like a male Stag beetle – which would be a new site record – was glimpsed flying in the gloom.

Moon rising over thames Road Wetland, 20/6/16. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Moon rising over thames Road Wetland, 20/6/16. (Photo: Chris Rose)

 

Chris Rose. Site Manager.

 

 

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