I have many cameras around my home and two are inside purpose-built mammal boxes. One, close to my house in a hedgerow, has an HD camera in and has been capturing wonderful footage of voles and mice and common shrews.
The second of my boxes has a nest box camera inside it. This still gives good footage as the box is lit inside.
It is in this second box that I have recently had a very special visitor… one which was somewhat unexpected! Last week, whilst working on my PC, some movement caught my eye on one of the cameras and a very large Shrew appeared in the box. It looked rather strange… very dark, much larger and rounder than my normal visitors and disappeared quickly…. I must admit, I did not think a lot more about it until tonight.
Working at my PC, I was looking through some of the recorded footage from this box and discovered that this same individual has been a regular visitor to the box over the last few days, despite there not being much food in there as I have been working away. I took a closer look…. it just did not look like a Common Shrew! Joking, I said that maybe it was a Water Shrew…. and googled them! I was amazed when the images showed exactly what I had been watching! Yes, a Water Shrew in my lit mammal box, nowhere near a water course, but in a damp, dense hedgerow area, where they can sometimes be found! Excitedly, I have now been uploading some footage of this unexpected visitor and doing a bit of research to find out more about it! I have never seen a Water shrew before and I doubt anyone has ever filmed one in this context before.
This information sheet from The Mammal Society was very useful!
Of course, I am thrilled and with the box restocked, I am hoping it will return! I just wish the HD camera was in there! The bank near the box is pretty damp and water often seeps down and comes into my garage port. It is obviously a suitable habitat for them.
Here are some video clips of this amazing (and unexpected!) new visitor in the WildlifeKate patch!