Tuesday, 21 June 2011


I got back from my weekend away with the lads on the Hampshire Avon on monday evening. True to form it had been a bit hectic, very tiring and extremely boozy, London Pride, don't you just love it!

Anyway, today was chores day (sounds like a very posh Tuesday), the grass needed cutting, I needed to go to the local tip, the car needed sorting out, blah, blah, blah. But at about 4pm I managed to get a quick visit to Brooklands lake, just what I needed to blow the cobwebs away and it was certainly windy enough to do that.

I didn't stay long, just an hour or so and any thoughts I'd had about getting some dragon or damsel fly pictures soon evaporated. But I did manage to say hello to one of the Common Lizards that live near the corner of the lake by the fishermen's hut. He thought I couldn't see him peeping out from the undergrowth but he was mistaken.

The only other bit of interest was this Shrew, it was risking death by digestion running about in the open like that, I guess the need to constantly feed sometimes means a compromise has to be made.

He was very tiny and very active. I found it difficult to get a shot where he wasn't tearing along at a rate of knots. Luckily, every now and again he'd find a tiny morsel and stop very briefly, allowing me to get a couple of pics.

In the picture below he has seen me and decided that the best thing to do was hide his head in the weeds, thus rendering himself invisible. I saw a mouse do this once when I was Trout fishing from the bank at Bewl Water, it made me laugh until a few seconds later when an unleashed dog ran up and ate it. I had this in mind when this one adopted the same pose so I found a small twig and gently poked it until it buried itself safely out of sight.

The trouble is, I can't decide which shrew it is, it was very small, but aren't they all. I believe the Pygmy Shrew has a longer tail than the Common Shrew, two thirds body length as opposed to half body length, but I hadn't got my tape measure handy. So i'll throw it open to you, can anybody help with the naming of the shrew!


Paul said...

Hi Phil, some nice shots of the Shrew there, and the lizard too.
I was on your patch again on Fathers day, and I had a good session there, i think i found your Ringlet Butterfly too!

Chris said...

Oh I'm not gonna help you with ID of this little fellow but I love the pictures ;-)

Mike Attwood said...

I couldn't tell you Either Phil, but you got more shots of a shrew than I got in a lifetime.

Bob Bushell said...

Gripping story, and a Shrew, I've never been able to photograph one, lucky you. Great pictures.

hire magento developer said...

Lovely pictures. I love the spirit and pace. Keep it up all the time.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Well done getting the shots of the Shrew , especially in your condition after the weekend .
My money would be on the Water Shrew , as the animal shows definded dark upper and white underparts . Shows best in your first and last shots .
Hope you've recovered by now .

ShySongbird said...

Great post title Phil ;) and what a great find! Well done on getting photos of it and on persuading it into a safer position.

Why am I not surprised to see a lurking Lizard? :)