“In the reed bed? Really? That’s extraordinary. I’ll let Robert know. He’ll be fascinated and down there like a dose of salts I shouldn’t be surprised!” I was on the phone to a friend of mine who had just called to say that some relatives staying with them had found a dormouse nest in the reed bed by the edge of their ‘lake’. Not only had they found the nest but the resident had obliged by coming out and letting them take photos! Robert, you see, has a bit of a reputation of never believing anyone’s natural history sightings – animal, plant or mineral – ‘proof’ is essential!
As predicted Robert was excited…though I did detect the old flicker of scepticism “Oh, and Sally has the photo to prove it.” I grinned “Though seriously, do dormice nest in reed beds? By water?”
Apparently, yes they do, though it’s more likely in those parts of the country which support good reed bed systems. I guess in Devon, with our glorious hedgerows and connected woodlands, we just don’t look for them in other places that often. Though Maggie of Wheatland Farm did say they found a nest complete with dormouse in the middle of their area of culm grassland which was well away from trees (again with photo to prove it! Do click on the link to see them).
So down Robert went to Sally’s, not just to give positive identification to nest and inhabitant, but also to continue on his quest for hoverflies (now up to well over 120 species for Devon!). He was not disappointed. It was a dormouse nest, with occupant, at the edge of the reed bed. Amazingly she, the dormouse, appeared quite unperturbed by her celebrity status, posing for these stunning photos! (…andRobert went on to successfully discover yet more hoverflies)