Postcards from Slough
Postcards from Slough

Mammals

These pages are about some of the mammals to be found in a Slough garden – my garden. My garden covers an area of about 90 square metres but in nearly thirty years of living here, I have observed 5 species of wild mammal and at least two species of bat fly within the confines of my garden.

Wood mouse

Apodemus sylvaticus

The wood mouse, also known as the field mouse, is from the family Muridae. Their natural habitats are cultivated farmland, forests, open grasslands… actually anywhere in the great outdoors really. Unlike the house mouse (mus musculus), they tend not to like being indoors but they will come in in very cold conditions.

 

Wood mice feed mainly on seeds and will take food back to their nests for storage. They are mostly nocturnal and the wood mouse in the photograph was taken at night illuminated by a halogen light.

Length including tail: 90mm

Grey Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis

Grey squirrels were released by UK landowners in the 19th century and are now common and widespread. They have replaced native red squirrels almost everywhere except some islands such as Anglesey, Brownsea and the Isle of Wight. Squirrels nest in a drey which consists of twigs, leaves and bark and breed in early spring but may have another litter in the summer if conditions are favourable.

Squirrels eat acorns, bulbs, fungi, windfall fruit and food left for birds such as peanuts and seeds. A grey squirrel visiting my garden recently, hung down on its back legs from the arch and lifted a seed feeder off its hook to let it fall to the ground so that some of its contents would spill out. The feeder was full and weighed nearly a kilogram, one and a half its own body weight.

 

Length: 30cm, tail about 25cm; weight: up to 600g

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Postcards from Slough gratefully uses images from Grace's Guide.

www.gracesguide.co.uk

 

 

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