Saturday, 15 August 2015

Who Wants To See A Dormouse?

I know I said I'd be away for a few days, but we found a Dormouse this morning on our survey and I know how much you all love seeing them. This chap/ chapess was very much awake and my goodness are they hard to hold when they're awake, so the pics are of him/ her in the special bag we use for weighing them.


They aren't in the bag for long, just enough to weigh them in the bag using a hand held suspended scale, then they're checked over and released back into their box. This little one weighed in at 17 grams, which is bang on for this time of year. They need to reach 30 grams just before they hibernate in order to survive the winter.



I got to hold this little one as part of my licence training process. The experts make it look easy, believe me! I tend to think I'm fairly good with wild things, but Dormice are in a league of their own. Until you're used to handling them and know how tight you can hold them without doing harm, it isn't easy. They slip and slide like soap in a bath, and they also whizz through the tiniest gaps in your fingers. On top of that they have sticky feet, which helps them to climb trees but makes them very hard to manoeuvre in your hands. Oh, and their tail hair can shed very easily as well, a thing you need to avoid at all costs as it makes them vulnerable to infection. So a lot to think about when you pick one up, and this probably explains why this one squeezed out of a miniscule gap in my hands and disappeared into the undergrowth before we could see if it was male or female.

I will just add that it's illegal to handle Hazel Dormice here in the UK without a licence, or having a licence holder present. They are a highly endangered species who have maximum protection under UK law. In fact, it's illegal even to approach a nest box.


We found several nests in the boxes, some belonging to Dormice and this one below, which belongs to a Wood Mouse. You can tell this from the nibble pattern on the nuts and the way the nest has been made with brown leaves. Dormice place green hazel leaves in their nests along with the brown which they fill the boxes with, and also eat the nut differently.

 
It was a lovely morning in the woods with lots of other interesting species out and about. I saw Silver Washed Fritillary, Red Admiral and Holly Blue flutters...






I'll leave you with a pencil case I made for my new art stuff out of the fab and funky fox fabric (see what I did there?). I found a brilliant tutorial on how to put zips in online. You can find it here  if you fancy having a go- it is written really well and simply and is easy to understand and follow. Any unpicking I did was entirely down to my own stupidity :o). I reckon once you get the hang of it it'll only take the 15 mins she suggests too. Bonus, eh?





And of course the regulation pics of T and P, who are both extremely excited at the arrival of Ted's new running lead. We're all going running this afternoon around the fields to celebrate and christen it (even M who has already run 18 miles this morning). Dogs are so clever, aren't they? I'd barely got it out the wrapper and they were both jumping for joy. How did they even know what it was? I will try and remember to get a picture for you. Happy Days :o)


 
Hope all are well and enjoying the weekend?

CT :o)

36 comments:


  1. Really nice shots, hoping finding out there is a macro mode on my little inherited camera may help me get something approaching decent shots.

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    1. Good luck with that- I'm sure it will have. A macros function really does make a difference.

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  2. Fab, funky, fox, fabric, have tried and failed to find another word to add (apart from failed and find of course!)
    I adore that dormouse. And, as usual, wonderful butterfly photos. We have just walked round our fields and never seen a butterfly at all.

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    1. Fantastic? Furry? I've run out there.... :o) x

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  3. The little Dormouse is so cute! I took some pictures this morning of butterflies on the Joe Pye weed. My pictures never turn out like yours do.

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    1. Thanks HP, I spend hours waiting with the camera in hand :o)

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  4. Gorgeous dormouse, gorgeous puppies and gorgeous pencil case!

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  5. I'd love to see a dormouse, so very pretty. I'm still practising the butterfly shots. They seem to know, and close their wings or fly off before I can get a good shot. I will get there in the end though! x

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    1. That's my third and I still grin like an idiot :o) Keep going with the flutter shots- you'll get there x

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  6. Fab foxy pencil case! Hope you enjoy your artworks. Hope that T&P had a good run too. Sounds as though the doormousing is going well, more great experience for you! xx

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    1. Lovely run- Teddy kept up fine and then Pop and I went out and did another mile together. What has come over me?! xx

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  7. Oh My Goodness DORMOUSE ! ! !
    I love their nose makes them so cute. The different nests and chew patterns so interesting.
    I can not believe you posted about a pencil case. I have wanted to make something like this for awhile for a friend. Thank you.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. They are definitely cutie-pies :o)

      Post your finished pencil case so I can admire it. x

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  8. Glad you popped back back to show us the cute dormouse, been catching up on your posts.
    Decorating going well, I gutted the kitchen to day, will be on first name terms with the men at the tip by the end of the week :)
    Have a nice few days...
    Amanda xx

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    1. Glad to hear all is well with the decorating. It'll be lovely when it's all done. Ours needs doing too :o( x

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  9. P.S have you been in touch with Jennifer Tetlow, noticed she has not posted for some time , miss seeing what she is making.
    Amanda xx

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    1. No- I was thinking about her the other day. I've got her email so I'll drop her a line and see how she's doing x

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  10. Oh a dormouse, brilliant. I love the idea of their sticky little feet. They just get cuter and cuter. Love the pencil case, the fabric is great. I hope it's a good run. Maybe I need a dog or two to inspire me to get out and do it. I shall look forward to hearing how it goes and how Ted's little legs hold up to it all. CJ xx

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    1. I couldn't believe how sticky their feet are, and how warm and soft they are to handle- really delightful little people :o)

      The run was super- although M nearly fell over laughing at me in bright pink shorts with red and orange dog leads and belt. No idea why. Ted nearly tripped me and Pop over once or twice, but as Grannie said when I told her about it, it was the first time he'd tried the running lead :o) xx

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  11. I won't be commenting on anymore of your posts, because I need the instant gratification of instant publication.

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    1. In that case I am providing a Public Service by making you wait. Instant gratification isn't good for the soul.

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  12. Lovely to see the dormouse - so cute :) and I do like that pencil case! Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

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    1. Thanks :o) Busy making purses now... :o)

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  13. Weell he is just gogrgeous. Also lovely shots of the butterflies

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    1. I don't think I'll ever tire of seeing them :o)

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  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  15. Thanks so much for sharing this experience...and the butterflies too.

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  16. CT you are a marvel. I do not know where you find the time for all these activities. Hope you've had a good weekend and T and P looked after the Grannies.

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    1. It's something to do with being an Aries I think- too much energy :o)

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  17. Exciting about the dormice, and wonderful that you are going to get a licence to handle them. Gorgeous little creatures! xx

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  18. It's fantastic to see a dormouse! I remember being shown one that was fast asleep by a Dorset Countryside Warden many years ago. Sarah x

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x