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YARE VALLEY: Wheatfen mammals & fungi

19th September 2015

On Saturday morning Cathy, Margaret & I visited Wheatfen for an event focussing on small mammals. Dan Hoare had set a series of live mammal traps (e.g. Longworth traps) in a range of habitats around the reserve the previous night, and we went round to see them checked and emptied. The main attraction for me was the presence of Yellow-necked Mice, with Wheatfen being one of very few Norfolk sites for this species. I was in luck, as the second trap we checked contained a male Yellow-necked Mouse, a new species for me. It was to be the only one caught, there were quite a few mice caught, but the others were all Wood Mice.

As we walked around the reserve I found myself getting repeatedly destracted by the large amounts of fungi. Some of the highlights included my first Fly Agarics of the year, along with a Parrot Waxcap and some Pointed Clubs. There was a range of Russulas and Milkcaps that deserved more attention had they been the focus of my visit.

Other species of interest included a Chiffchaff amongst a flock of Long-tailed Tits, an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar and a fern gall. Having collected all of the traps we went to the education centre for a cup of tea and to examine some skulls and droppings of mammals found on the reserve. Many thanks to Dan for putting out the traps and leading the walk.

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