With a wealth of wildlife just over the channel it was time for yet another foray, this time for some small mammal trapping at the invitation of the Dutch Mammal Society. The targets were two of the Netherlands rarest small mammals the root vole and the Bi coloured white toothed shrew.

Tuesday 20th September

After getting the overnight ferry to Dunkirk I drove to the meeting point North of Amsterdam a few hours early a fox ran across the road after the rabbits and hares which were abundant. I got some sleep before I met up with my contact and the rangers at the reserve we were surveying, news was good a root vole had been caught the previous evening. After a cup of tea we headed off on the boat to the 5 islands where 100 longworth traps had been set. We checked them all with a few wood mice and a common shrew but little else. Back at the ranger station we checked on a barn owl nest box with some chicks in (a bit late!). The rest of the day was mine and I explored the reserve and its environs. There were plenty of common stuff but a hen harrier and a spoonbill the pick of the lot. After a bit to eat I headed back for an evening check of the traps, travelling by boat at night was an interesting experience. We had a harvest mouse and the trap that contained the root vole in the first check was tripped but nothing was trapped. I headed off to me next destination in the NE part of the country. Being quite tired I pulled in to a parking place on the motorway to get some sleep, it was quite busy for the early hours and two men walked round the car a bit suspiciously, then one came to the window and was playing with himself I had found some sort of gay dogging site, not really up my street so I left quickly and found a parking area devoid of doggers for some sleep.

Wednesday 21st September

I met my second contact for a 110 longworth trap check on a piece of scrubland and an adjacent garden, the first trap held my target a Bi coloured white toothed shrew, but the area was a good one for small mammals and we caught 72 in the 110 traps, a single Millet's Shrew, plenty of common voles, bank voles and wood mice and 8 Bi coloured white toothed shrews. With the Bi coloured white toothed shrew in the bag I arranged to return to the root vole area where my contact was trapping another site. But I had plenty of time and headed to the Oostvaardersplassen I quickly found the plentiful red deer which were just beginning to rut, a fox was hunting the geese and bird wise an osprey and two white tailed eagles were worth the effort. Some other birdwatchers turned up and had just seen a rough legged buzzard, which seemed very early so I investigated and indeed they were correct but it was a little distant. I explored the area and eventually ended up at the Lepelaarplassen, where I noticed a large number of cars in a very small layby, I smelt a twitch and headed off to investigate. I reached the hide after a long walk and the target was a little crake which had not been seen for several hours. Two minutes later it was showing well, perfect timing or what! The local birders also informed me of a bufflehead which was likely an escape and a wryneck just down the path, which was flushed by a cyclist as I arrived, as did the heavy rain. I dried off an headed off to meet my small mammal trapping contact again. The area we went was accessible by car but wellies were still needed, and we had a few captures, a water shrew which managed to escape our clutches and finally a root vole which was a real beast. Very happy I headed south.

Thursday 22nd September

Battling the traffic and manic drivers in Belgium I made it to Brussels for my next target. I was only out of the car a few seconds and I saw the first Siberian chipmunk closely followed by a red squirrel. I saw several chipmunks and a friendly nuthatch which came to peanuts which the chipmunks ignored in favour of the abundant beech mast. The sun finally came out for the first time during the trip and the warmth had me driving a short distance to a lake complex where I quickly located two yellow bellied sliders. I tried another site which only held marsh frogs and a few dragonflies enjoying the sun. The third site held nothing at all and the sun went in so I headed for Dunkirk to get the ferry home.

Birds - 80

Little Grebe

Great Crested Grebe


Little Egret

Great White Egret

Grey Heron


Mute Swan

Greylag Goose

Canada Goose

Egyptian Goose

Barnacle Goose









Tufted Duck


White Tailed Eagle



Rough Legged Buzzard

Marsh Harrier

Hen Harrier




Little Crake





Black Headed Gull

Common Gull

Herring Gull

Lesser Black backed Gull

Greater black Backed Gull

Sandwich tern

Common Tern

Feral Pigeon


Stock Dove

Collared Dove

Tawny Owl

Barn Owl


Ring Necked Parakeet

Green Woodpecker

Greater Spotted Woodpecker



Sand Martin


White Wagtail

Grey Wagtail





Mistle Thrush



Great Tit

Blue Tit


Short Toed Treecreeper




Carrion Crow


House Sparrow




Reed Bunting


Insects - 7

Speckled Wood

Red Admiral

Large White

Small White

Ruddy Darter

Migrant Hawker

Southern Hawker



Herps - 6

Marsh Frog

Edible Frog

Pool Frog

Common Frog

Common Toad

Yellow Bellied Slider

Mammals - 16

Bank Vole

Common Vole

Root Vole

Wood Mouse

Common Shrew

Bi coloured white toothed shrew


Brown Hare


Harvest Mouse

Red Deer

Roe Deer

Red Squirrel

Siberian Chipmunk

Water Shrew

Millet's Shrew


All the Photos
Flickr Photo Gallery

Bank Vole
Bank Vole

Red Deer
Red Deer


Common Vole
Common vole

Edible Frog
Edible Frog

Brown Hare
Brown Hare

Harvest Mouse
Harvest Mouse

Bi coloured White Toothed Shrew
Bi coloured White Toothed Shrew


Little Crake
Little Crake

Root Vole
Root Vole

Siberian Chipmunk
Siberian Chipmunk


Yellow Bellied Slider
Yellow Bellied Slider

Millet's Shrew
Millet's Shrew

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