Update on the Garden Mice

The last Mouse Log entry was over a month ago and since this time there has been quite a bit of activity going on in the garden, starting with my garden shed.

It was in the shed that I caught a rat in my newly installed, and very humane, trap back in May. Since then I’ve kept the trap open and over the last weeks I’ve been catching lots of little Wood Mice. Typically one every couple of nights.

Although the mouse keeps getting caught I’ve seen that maybe it is learning. Here it is not going in, deciding against taking the risk.

Also trying to get at the cheese without going inside.

First thing to say is that each time I release the trapped mouse at the end of my garden, somewhere near the mouse house I installed under a pile of garden debris, my habitat pile. I’ve really no way of knowing if it is the same mouse that keeps coming back to the shed, there is always a gap of a couple of days, or if it is a different member of a group.

I can say that I’ve never captured more than one mouse on camera at the same time, which does appear to be a clue.

But I have also started to see a mouse using more regularly the mouse house at the bottom of the garden? Near where I release the captives.  Very obligingly this time the mouse seems to be installing himself in the opposite corner to the camera, so I can see him!

I’ve not been watching very much whilst I was concentrating on the Robin nest so I’m not sure how often or for how long the mouse has been back using the house. What I can see is clear evidence of mouse poo, basically in the same corner of the box.

This would indicate that it is being used quite regularly.

Is it the same mouse that is also getting caught in the trap in the shed or are they different individuals? I don’t know.  I’ve never filmed or logged a mouse in the shed and the mouse house at the same time but as the visits to both are quite brief and irregular it is very difficult to say. I imagine in my garden there could or perhaps should be multiple mice, but without ringing them, as you do with birds, there is really no way I can tell. And rank amateur as I am, I’m not going to start ringing mice!

But the level of activity is encouraging, potentially showing a healthy population and this despite the fact that I’ve introduced two domestic cats into my garden, a huge predator threat. I’ve been letting my cats out for around a month and although unfortunately they have killed a couple of small birds, they have not to my knowledge taken any mice. Yet.

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