Dormice

David Beeson

4th November


Muscardinus avellanarius

As I have mentioned before, dormice are declining and generally rare or uncommon in the UK. They are southern in distribution and have been one of the mammals I look out for more than most.

Less than a month ago I found what I thought were dormouse nests in my own garden. Had I found them out and about I would have certainly said, “Dormouse”. It isn’t quite so easy when it is your own back yard … a little more certainty is needed. So, I sent my photographs of the nests to The Mammal Society. They were not sure. Dormouse, perhaps harvest mouse? Either would be great news, but despite my trying, harvest mice nests have not been found just here. A couple of miles away, yes, but not really local.

My previous camera trap was stolen from the end of my garden. It was padlocked in place and wire cutters were needed to remove it. I’m sure who did it, but proof is another thing.

A new camera trap / trail camera arrived yesterday. And, like a little kid, I rushed out and set it up immediately. It was not a quality set up, but with dormouse hibernation supposedly almost immediate, a night was not to be wasted.

I woke at dawn to FROST. The camera trap recorded 0 Celcius / 32 F and that doubly says ‘Hibernate all ye dormice.’ Not so, my images are crawling with cute dormice and not a common wood mouse is to be seen.

Now, yes, they are rubbish images … just give me time! So, no hibernation and the cuties still active in freezing conditions.

Food? Forest Edge’s own walnuts, shelled to make life easy for them.

Welcome, dormice.

Yes, they seems to enjoy being upside down
Dormice
Dormice: Britain's sleepiest, and most charming little creatures
Just wait until I get images like this!

Handling, live trapping or disturbing hazel dormice is illegal.

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