Terrestrial and aquatic mammals
So far, 29 species of mammal (excluding bats) have been recorded in the area of Tisbury and surroundings:
Did you know that almost all 17 species of bat present in the UK have been recently found in surveys in Tisbury?
The River Nadder. Peep from the bridges towards the river or walk quietly along the public or permissive footpaths around the River Nadder at dawn and you may be able to see water voles, otters and, sadly, possibly American mink. If you are lucky, you may see them swimming in the water or scurrying near the banks. If you have not been sufficiently careful when approaching the river, you may hear a “plop” and see some waves in the water, hinting at the location where they have hidden. If you can approach the river banks, you may be able to observe footprints and burrows, and possibly even poos! Did you know that otter poo smells of jasmine? Here is a guide on how to identify otter marks and here are some useful tips on how to go water vole spotting and how to identify water vole field signs. Otters and water voles are protected species, so if you see them, please do not disturb them nor their resting places.
Grovely Wood. Deer, rabbits, foxes and other mustelids (stoats, weasels…) have been seen on the rides of Grovely Wood in broad daylight. At night you may also see badgers and if you look up the trees, you may also see grey squirrels. But even if you don’t see them, these animals often leave a series of tracks and signs behind along the sides of the rides, such as snuffle holes, droppings, eaten conifer cones, scats and footprints. Did you know that you can identify quite accurately most of these? Here is a guide to some of the most common ones.
Footpaths along woodland, for example in the area of Castle Ditches are often productive in hazelnuts with small mammal nibble marks. Did you know you can tell which species of mammal ate the hazelnuts depending on the orientation and arrangement of the teeth marks in the shells? For more information, see this handy key.
- Go on a walk at dusk or dawn
- Walk slowly and be quiet, if you need to speak, do it as a whisper
- Take a dog with you
- Use a torch or listen to music