Unless you have a license to trap and handle live mammals, it's rare you get to see these creatures up close. I wouldn't wish it dead but, since it was, I took the opportunity to check out and photograph its main features.
|Common Shrew (Sorex araneus). Body = 70mm long (against my little finger), tail = 35mm (0.5 x length of body)|
|Pointed nose, small eyes and ears|
|Alternative view of the long, pointed nose & tiny eyes|
|Back feet (from above)|
|Back feet (from below)|
|Back foot (from the side)|
- They rarely live beyond 12 months
- They feed on insects but also eat earthworms and small slugs and snails
- They don't hibernate but during the winter they actually shrink to make survival easier
- Their main predators are Tawny Owls, Barn Owls and larger mammals
- During breeding, if the nest is disturbed or the mother wants to train the young, they form a "caravan". Each shrew grasps the base of the tail (or rump) of the one in front of it, forming a caravan of little shrews all running along behind the mother!
As for the mining bees, there was plenty of activity but I'll need to sort out IDs etc before posting. No sign yet of the Common Whitethroats but a Willow Warbler was singing.