Tracking in the Snow - picture heavy

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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,597
3,854
Mid Wales
I love going out after the snow the night before and seeing what's been around. We'd had a few inches last Sunday night and Monday morning turned out glorious so I headed off to the wood to see what I could find. The snow was nice and crunchy, not ideal but not too powdery or wet either.

snowy track - 1920 - 25 - TG551109.jpg

First up were plenty of squirrel tracks:

tracks - squirrel 1 - 1920 - 25 - TG551107.jpgtracks - squirrel 2 - 1920 - 25 - TG551093.jpg


The hares; a lot more than I was expecting

tracks - hare 2 - 1920 - 25 - TG551111.jpgtracks - hare 1 - 1920 - 25 - TG551095.jpg


Plenty of fox and, for comparison below it the track of my famer neighbour's jack russel :)

tracks - fox 1 - 1920 - 25 - TG551097.jpg

track - dog - 1920 - 20 - TG551117.jpg

A brown rat - the tail gives it away but I've also caught one on the trail camera here (which is at a fox den and a mile from the nearest house)

tracks - brown rat - 1920 - 25 - TG551099.jpg


All the badger tracks were very trampled and there wasn't a decent one to photograph - here's one from a previous year and some evidence of recent passing through

badger print in snow.jpg

badger hair on fence - 1920 - 25 - TG551102.jpg
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,639
1,013
Berlin
Did the rat sit there while it was snowing?
Did it melt the snow?

In my Garden I always had rats, even domesticated ones (Rattus Norwegicus Domesticus) and never have seen such a print!

We have here surely 30 rats now. No print like this!
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,597
3,854
Mid Wales
I am pretty confident that's what it is. A lot of tracking is about putting a whole picture together to improve confidence of identification. This was one of a lot of exactly the same tracks forming a long curving path through the trees and ending at the fox hole. It's not quite as clear on this photo that the tail was definitely hairless; it was a clean round depression sometimes off slightly to one side. As I said, I've caught a brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) on the trail cam at this site before so I'm 99%+ certain that's what it is. I hadn't realised until I looked into it when I got the trail cam footage that rats live in fields and woods as well as in urban areas.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,109
1,645
63
Pembrokeshire
On my walks around the village during the recent snow I have seen loads of fox, badger, rabbit, squirrel and pheasant tracks - as well as cat and dog tracks - and I love seeing just what the beasties have been up to :)
It is a good thing that I am an early riser as my normal circuits are popular with the local joggers and dog walkers - but I normally get to see new tracks before anyone else obliterates them :)
 
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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,639
1,013
Berlin
That is a rat print without any doubt.
I just wonder how such a print did happen.

In Germany we call Rattus Norwegicus "Wanderratte" obviously they enjoy outdoor life. There is even a huge market for insulated hammocks in rat sizes.

 

massa

Tenderfoot
Feb 1, 2021
50
11
52
Wales
I love going out after the snow the night before and seeing what's been around. We'd had a few inches last Sunday night and Monday morning turned out glorious so I headed off to the wood to see what I could find. The snow was nice and crunchy, not ideal but not too powdery or wet either.

View attachment 63941

First up were plenty of squirrel tracks:

View attachment 63942View attachment 63943


The hares; a lot more than I was expecting

View attachment 63944View attachment 63945


Plenty of fox and, for comparison below it the track of my famer neighbour's jack russel :)

View attachment 63946

View attachment 63947

A brown rat - the tail gives it away but I've also caught one on the trail camera here (which is at a fox den and a mile from the nearest house)

View attachment 63948


All the badger tracks were very trampled and there wasn't a decent one to photograph - here's one from a previous year and some evidence of recent passing through

View attachment 63949

View attachment 63950
That really awesome photos mate well done . :)
 

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