15th May marked the start of my personal Longworth Trapping season (Mid-May), so the logbook now has its first entry. I caught a Bank Vole at 4:45 this afternoon and weighed it. It was a whopping 25g, the heaviest since I started last year! I tried a new method of getting the vole into the weighing bag too. I kept the vole in the bedding compartment with all the grass taken out, then I put the bag over the open end of the compartment and tipped the vole gently into the bag. I didn’t even have to try to pick it up! Here are the photos from today:
Bank Vole in the weighing bag.
Bank Vole in the bedding compartment.
I was doing pre-season trapping earlier in the year, but due to the cold weather catches were scarce. There were only 1 Wood Mouse and 2 Bank Voles, the Wood Mouse pictured here:
Wood Mouse caught pre-season.
So far all I’ve caught in my Longworth Trap are Bank Voles, though I wasn’t surprised because up to Monday morning, the only place that I’ve set it at is beneath the feeder, where Bank Voles live. Though on Monday morning, I was shocked to find that a Wood Mouse was in our Longworth Trap! I think Wood Mice are probably the most mobile of the small mammals because one evening I spotted one running across our front lawn!
The Wood Mouse that we caught was very active, and it was hard to get a grip on her. We did eventually though, but I really didn’t want to mark her. I found that I didn’t have to, because there was already a split in her right ear! Then I got another surprise, because when we released her, she went into the Bank Vole hole.
The next weekend I decided that I would move the Longworth Trap for the first time, to where I found holes that I thought belonged to Wood Mice. The next morning I found a Wood Mouse in the trap, like I’d expected.
Though when we released this Wood Mouse, it didn’t go into ‘its’ hole. It went in the opposite direction, towards a Red Campion, where it stood still for a while and I was able to take some photos of it in the wild.
What are you looking at?
About two hours later, when I checked the trap again, I found that the door was closed again. I opened it up, expecting to find a Wood Mouse, though I saw a mammal that I haven’t seen in my garden before, a Field Vole. This led me to believe that the holes were actually made by a Field Vole.