Noggin's picture

Strange holes in lawn this morning

Observed: 16th October 2013 By: Noggin

Strange marks dug into neighbour's lawn. Although we have grey squirrels, there has been nothing like this in the tens of years that the occupier has been there. Holes are approximately 1.5 inches deep, there has been scrabbling along edge of lawn such as Blackbird might do to look for insects. We know foxes have been seen around over the past few years, wondering if this is symptomatic of such a mammal looking for insects / worms etc. There are also small (< 1 inch sized frogs in the edge of the lawn.


No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Thistle's picture


It looks to me more like the damage caused by birds - probably crows or magpies - digging for grubs such as leatherjackets. This is particularly so for photo 1: a well-defined central hole with little colateral damage.


the naturalist man's picture


It could be birds, it could also be the fox you mentioned. An old vixen has been visiting a garden near me making similar holes looking for invertebrates - we know it was her as she was caught in the act. Rabbits will also make such holes after roots, though they tend to make more damage and the holes are usually long and narrow (like the second two photos) with two distinct small hollows at the point where the paws strike first.

So birds, foxes, rabbits; could be any one, the only way would be to get up early (dawn) and watch.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

Noggin's picture

Strange Holes Update

Thanks for the comments so far. We favour the fox theory - what the photographs I uploaded don't show is that the marks progress in a near straight line, and there were disturbances in the "dew" following rain overnight that tracked the holes. These were not like bird feet / tail marks, though not really distinct enough by the time we got to look at them to come to any conclusions. I suspect the chasing of a frog's route (or other mammal?)across the lawn as it tried to escape, but then there were no tell tale carcases around either.

Our neighbour will be keeping a more careful watch.....

the naturalist man's picture


Please keep us posted, especially if you ever find the culprit.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'