During work in Leicester I found the remains of a dead peregrine near one of the original conservation nest boxes. It turned out to be a young female that took over the Leicester Cathedral nest site in April 2020. She was last seen alive on 6 September 2020 and has since been replaced by a new colour-ringed female. She is the bird that was videoed having a 2 hour fight on 27th April 2020 – see youtube footage at https://youtu.be/s76WIibCmm0. Check out the http://leicesterperegrines.org.uk/ website for up to date information on the fantastic Leicester peregrines…
I dropped into Chesterfield to have a look at the Peregrines on the Parish Church – both birds were sat on the eastern side overlooking the town…
Widespread throughout Britain, weasels are our smallest and probably most numerous carnivores. However, they are absent from Ireland and most off-shore islands. They are found in a wide range of habitats which include urban areas, lowland pasture, woodland, marshes and moors. Weasels are less common where their prey are scarce, such as at higher altitudes and in dense woodland with sparse ground cover. (https://www.mammal.org.uk/species-hub/full-species-hub/discover-mammals/species-weasel/)
The mink we have in Britain are none native and are originally from American. The American mink Neovison vison were originally import to the UK to be used for fur-farming.
In continental Europe, there is also a European mink Mustela lutreola, a completely different species and now very much endangered. The European mink has never been recorded in the UK.
The UK’s wild population of American mink originated mostly from mass releases of mink from fur farms in the 1990s. Many people will remember these dramatic events for the 100,00’s of mink involved. However, a wild population was established decades earlier from multiple escapes (and perhaps deliberate releases) all over the whole of the UK.
On the River Witham there is a significant population of American mink Neovison vison which are having a negitive effect on the local water vole population.
One log accross the River Witham, and used by so many species…
Badger, fox, otter, mink, brown rat, wood mouse and a host of birds!
Native crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes found in the River Witham, surveyed with Natural England licence.