Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Rare hazel dormice discovered living on the Exe Estuary

By DanielClark | Posted: June 29, 2017 

An endangered dormouse has been spotted for the first time ever on the Exe Estuary. Last week RSPB Devon volunteer and wildlife photographer, Jo King, discovered a species new to the RSPB Exe Estuary reserves, when she spotted a hazel dormouse grooming itself alongside one of the footpaths.

This is the first time a dormouse, an endangered species across the UK, has been recorded on the RSPB site.

Jo said: “My main passion is bird photography so I'm often found wandering the Devon RSPB reserves with my eyes to the sky. But on this particular day the weather was fine and butterflies were out in extraordinary numbers, flitting and settling along the ground - so my eyes were on the path; bordered by tall seeded grass swaying in the breeze.

“Suddenly, something small, brown and fluffy caught my eye - clinging to a blade of grass right in front of me. As I edged closer it dropped down to the ground but didn't run off. My heart started pounding and adrenaline kicked in – it was a dormouse! I'd never spotted one before, but had seen plenty of photos, and this tiny, ginger-coloured ball of fluff, with its thick, furry tail was unmistakeable."

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