You may remember that, after the success of the Bushnell footage on the little Harvest mouse feeding platform I had put up at YewView, I opted to wire an HD camera to the spot. It meant some high-tech improvisation to create a waterproof container for the camera and a platform mounted on poles and wood to set inside the reed beds by the wildlife pond.
The effort has definitely been worth it, though, as the Harvest mice have been visiting regularly and we have started to capture some cracking footage! Having gone from knowing very little about these elusive little mammals, I am learning more and more, from a combination of research on the Internet, talking to experts, but mostly from just having the privilege to watch them via these cameras. They are delightful creatures to watch; they are possibly the sweetest looking of the rodents and their prehensile tails are incredible, often wrapped around the supports on the table or the reeds as they clamber nimbly in and out of the platform.
It is wonderful to be able to see them, close-up. I am hoping that I will be able to begin to recognise individuals. One, in particular, seems to have longer, darker hairs in its coat, one is much smaller….. time will tell…
I am currently building a webpage on the YewView website to showcase all the footage in one place, but here are a selection of my favourite clips from this week. I am going to attempt to get a microphone set up as well over the next month or so as well.
Make sure you select to watch them in HD!
It is not only the harvest mice who are feeding here. Needless to say, the birds have found it too. Whereas, a week ago, the Harvest mice would disappear as soon as a bird came, they are starting to get used to each other, as this clip shows!
Unfortunately, the rats have discovered it too, although they only appear infrequently…. I hope it stays that way or I will have to move it further into the water to deter them. They do, however, help you to gauge how tiny these Harvest mice are…
If you look at these two screen shots, you can see that the Harvest mouse is smaller than the rat’s head!!
I have lots more ideas to film these little guys and will be trying out some other, more natural looking, feeding platform in the coming weeks, now I know they are receptive to them. The smile on my face this week, as I uploaded these was huge! I can’t describe the excitement of, not only finding them here, but being able to watch them in this way!