Harvest Mouse Nest Hunt
For those who intend searching for old Harvest Mouse Nests we need:
Wellies (since vegetation likely to support nests will be standing in water).
Gardening gloves (for searching through tall coarse grasses and reeds).
A 5ft+ tape measure (for measuring the height of nests above ground and measuring the height of the supporting plants).
If you are fortunate enough to find a nest –
A) identify the supporting plant [the candidates are likely to be tall species like Reed Canary-grass Phalaris arundinacea, Reed Sweet-grass Glyceria maxima and Common Reed Phragmites australis and tussocky species like Tufted Hair-grass Deschmpsia cespitosa and Cock’s-foot Grass Dactylis glomerata.
B) Measure its height of the nest above ground.
C) Measure the total height of the supporting plant.
If you are willing to collect nests for the Lincoln University researcher, on a slip of paper make a note of your Name, Date, Locality, 1 km Grid square, species of supporting plant. Place this with the nest in a polythene bag.
At the end of the day we will make a note of the number of minutes spent searching, multiply this by the number of searchers and divide this figure by the number of nests. This gives us a nest density index which we can then compare with other sites in our region.
Colin A Howes