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Baltic Mammal Challenge, August 2015. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Pine Martin


With vegetation thick and grass long, August is not usually the best month for mammal spotting. And this year, with temperatures soaring to 30 C and more on a near daily basis, the heat further pushed mammals into the cooler depths of the dark shaded undergrowth.

Still however, not all was so bad, highlights did include Moose, Pine & Stone Martens, Red Squirrel and, new for the year, Common Pipistrelle.




Reflecting my activity rather than that of the mammals, Labanoras once again took the limelight - not only the regular Red Foxes and Roe Deer throughout the month, but a few nice little extras. Under bushes heaving with hazel nuts, dutifully attended by Nutcrackers, a pleasant sight was a mother Moose and yearling calf. Present for quite a few days, they lingered on a spit of land pushing out into the flood forest. Also here, one Red Squirrel teasing at the feeders, up to five Raccoon Dogs feeding together at an apple pile, both Pine and Stone Marten at night and an unexpected Beaver wandering across open land, presumably between pools.


Brown Hare


Revealing the relative abundance of the mammals visiting, a night cam left recorded no less than 320 videos of Raccoon Dogs in just two days, the animals present almost continuously through the night and regularly through the day ...when they sleep, I have no idea! By contrast, Brown Hare appeared once, Stone Marten four times and Pine Marten twice. Roe Deer sauntered in three times, Red Fox once.



Highlight at Labanoras however was at dusk - hawking the flood forest, zipping through the skeletal remains, several Common Pipistrelles, echolocation at a frequency of 45 mHtz. A new species for my land (species number 29), it was also the only new species for my new list in August ...the total now rising to 47. Also worthy of note at Labanoras, one non-mammal highlight - an amazing discovery, Water Rails were found breeding in the open flood forest, a pair feeding three small chicks mid-month. Not only a new breeding record for my land, but only the third year I have ever seen them on the land.


Little Blue



Away from Labanoras, I also found Eastern Hedgehog and Noctule Bat near Vilnius, plus Wolf tracks in forests south of the capital. Better at this latter location however were the butterflies - very much the tail end of the butterfly season, a couple of nice bonuses were several Little Blues and a couple of Silver-spotted Skippers, both localized species in Lithuania.




Year list:

47. Common Pipistrelle.



For a full account of the Baltic Mammal Challenge, CLICK HERE to open a new page.





Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 August 2015 )
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