Photos by Ilija Vukomanovic.
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I thought what I could see of the teeth they looked rodent like.But I have never seen a water shrew and there is no indication of size or whether it was in or near water Could it be a bank vole???Just a thought!
It was at the top of a saltmarsh adjacent to dunes, so near water but not typical water shrew habitat. Larger than a common shrew, but I agree it is hard to judge the size from the photos. The three of us all thought shrew when we saw it, but none of us are mammal experts. The skeleton will be available eventually.
It's rather strange - from the first photo I'd definitely have said water shrew because there appears to be a clear demarcation between black upper body and what looks like a very pale underside. But then when you turn it over the pale underside seems to disappear! and as you say it looks very gingery. The lower middle incisors of shrews do look rodent-like, but you can see the red tips to the teeth, typical of shrews.
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
Thanks for the comments and agreements. It hasn't been buried yet, so I had another look at it last night. It definitely has a shrew's pointed nose.
Lat/Lng: 53.1385, -4.3459
OS grid ref: SH431627
Dead on the path running along the high tide line bewteen dunes and saltmarsh.