Harvest mouse

I found a ball or woven mollinia grass on a heathland path, I knew it to be the nest of one of Europe’s smallest rodents, the harvest mouse. I gathered it up and noticed that it was rather heavy although soaking wet with recent heavy rain. On squeezing it gently I felt a small lump inside so opened it up to find a baby harvest mouse, dead and a few days decomposing. I wondered who had placed it in the path away from the grass clumps. It didn’t seem to have any damage on the nest or the mouse, maybe strong winds had simply blown it away and most of the baby mice and parent may have fled leaving one weak individual behind!

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