Found in the chicken feeder this evening! One very well fed Vole!
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Have a look at the second photo and you can see it's tail. Paul
Looks like the woodmouse has lost the end of its tail (not uncommon).
It sounds like it was very lucky the hens didn't spot it!
Ah yes, I see the 'whole' of the tail in the second photo now, and it is chomped/chopped off.
If it is an Apodemus species, I'm not sure we could discount yellow-necked mouse as the location is not that far outside its known range.
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As Gill has said, if if it is a house mouse, its the most russet-coloured house mouse I've ever seen, which would realistically leave Apodemus sp.
But - (once again) without absolute proof (as the sight of a yellow collar sometimes isnt even proof enough in many cases -often its pretty subjective and depends on the age of the mouse amongst other variables) we can't absolutely rule out flavicollis.
That said, just outside Runcorn is far enough outside the documented range of A.flavicollis for me to suggest this mouse is far FAR more likely to be a woodmouse (A.sylvaticus) than a yellow neck or any other mouse species.
Lat/Lng: 53.30052, -2.66453
OS grid ref: SJ558783