21 Mar 2020

21 Mar 20 - Wood Mouse #BWKM0

Having an old house, it's not unusual that a Wood Mouse will find a route into my house during the Winter. Over the years, I've managed to find ways to minimise the number of places they can actually get into the living areas, but it's not that unusual to hear them running behind skirting boards or on the upper side of the ceiling. In the last few years, I've taken to leaving a couple of peanuts on the kitchen floor. So, I know that if they have gone overnight, I have a new lodger. At that point, the live Mammal trap goes down & depending on how clever the new visitor is, I might quickly or eventually catch it. This has proved a good tactic as it has added both Common Shrew & Pygmy Shrew to the Garden (or House) List in recent years. There has been an elusive Wood Mouse that has skilfully avoided the trap earlier in the Winter & it disappeared, before being caught. But a couple of weeks ago, I heard a rustle while in the study & turning around saw a really cute Wood Mouse sitting in the corner of the room. It stayed there for a couple of minutes before it saw me & disappeared. Two weeks later, it was finally enticed into the trap when I added some cheese to the peanuts & it safely released about 50 metres away in some local woods. There is plenty of cover & food & hopefully it won't find its way back.  It was perfect timing to release it, as my fourth record of Crossbill flew over West as I was walking down the garden path.

To be on the safe side, I put down some more peanuts in the study & kitchen. Both sets had gone overnight. So, clearly there was at least one more to locate. There are probably plenty of mouse friendly routes within the stone walls so not necessarily two individuals. The live trap went down in kitchen & this morning, I woke to find the kitchen trap had a new visitor. This was safely released in the woods as well. More peanuts down, so will have to see if there are any left tomorrow.
Wood Mouse: Very cute. This is how & where I prefer to see them (9 Jun 13)
Check tomorrow to see the next day's wildlife sighting at #BWKM0.