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.
The stone loach is notoriously hard to spot – not only is it mostly nocturnal, it is also well camouflaged and can partially bury itself in the riverbed. This one was found during survey work on the River Witham!