27 September 2015

A Tail of a Mouse, a Mite and Rails

Saturday 26th September was bright and sunny so I went to the old sewage works to help Tim with some mini-beast trapping. We had no luck, but while surveying the felt squares Tim spyed a small mouse just off the path.7

Initially it was thought this could be a Harvest Mouse, a first for the patch, however the tide has turned against this diagnosis as Arlington Reservoir (?) believes this is a baby Wood Mouse. Whatever, this is a patch mammal tick for me and it was just a bit cute.

My total mammal list for Wanstead now hovers near double figures! Is anyone into mouse mites?

The Roding beckoned and a little while later I saw an adult Water rail on the far bank. It proceeded for the next ten minutes in typical furtive fashion, trotting, rushing, turning and generally throwing shapes in an upstream direction.

It then pushed off and swam across the river, I know they do swim but I had never seen one do it before. They look very different on the water (a bit like a Finfoot, he said pretentiously).

On reaching the near bank it kept walking and disturbed another Water Rail, which I just glimpsed as it fluttered up. Five minutes later I saw what I took to be the same bird on the far bank again, it was an adult anyway. After an entertaining half-hour I walked back, only to meet James in Rail twitch mode. Retracing my steps the Rail duly performed in the patch of rushes I'd last seen it in, British Rail on time shock.

Last year we had juvenile Water Rail in the same area so perhaps we do have breeding Water Rail on our small part of the Roding.

1 comment:

  1. Like a finfoot? Yeah, I 'd go for that and a chance to boast about stunning views of Masked Finfoot in Malaysia, March 1994. Ah, the memory...