A bit of a picture post for you today, but also an update on some of the youngster that were born here at the Centre over the year.
Another bumper year for us with red squirrels, and another release programme lined up for net month. Some of you may have already heard of Mersea Island's plans for re-introducing red squirrels in to this corner of Essex, and they have asked as this year if we would be willing to help in terms of supplying squirrels. I will tell you all more about it in a separate post when the squirrels are collected, but it is an exciting project for us. The island has been deemed suitable with supplementary feeding, and it seems that many of the residents are keen to put up feeders etc to continue to help the reds.
Our water voles continued to breed well, and although were not seen as often on our island, the number of sightings around the reserve has increased to almost daily. Fantastic news for our project, and means we can continue to spread the release further down our reserve.
Our baby adders are doing fine, although are very shy. They will hibernate here before finding new homes in the new year.
One of our biggest excitements was our water shrews having a litter of pups... Well, they currently have a second litter meaning water shrews everywhere! We hope to breed more shrews next year, and many of this years young will be going onto other collections.
Our harvest mice have continued to breed really well, and we have helped many other groups start or expand their collections for breeding. They are slowing down at the moment, but we may be able to fit in one more release before the cold sets in on our reserve. Sightings of our wild harvest mice have also been up this year, showing that this has been a successful release to.
And our polecats are now all big and strong and ready to venture out in to the wild. They will be collected for release soon, and a new breeding pair will be joining the team at the Centre to continue our efforts with their conservation.