stevefitz77's picture

Water Shrew??

Observed: 23rd September 2013 By: stevefitz77stevefitz77’s reputation in Mammals

Okay, spotted two of these shrews out in broad daylight, on a path next to the moat at Oxburgh Hall in West Norfolk, got a video of one. They weren't together, around 10 metres separated them. They both seemed disorientated and unsteady on their feet. When I saw the first one I took it to be a sick/dying common shrew. Having given it some thought, I have come up with a different hypothesis. Both shrews had black mole like fur and white bellies. They were too small to be adult water shrews, but could they be young animals, possibly from a disturbed nest? Please have a look at the stills I've uploaded and offer your opinions, because I'm far from certain my identification is correct.

Species interactions

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Milvus's picture


I think you're correct. Very black upperparts, clear demarcation between upperparts and belly (no 'transition' zone of colour as on common shrew). Though can't make out the hind feet or tail features. Overall looks like water shrew to me - and they can occur a long way from water (I once found one about 300m from the nearest stream inside a bird of prey pen!).

tarkamerl's picture

Looks like a youngster,

Looks like a youngster, probably dispersing from it's mother's territory.

Montgomeryshire mammal recorder and naturalist

the naturalist man's picture

Water shrew

Clear photos of water shrews, no other shrew black on the back.

Graham Banwell

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