Friday, 23 July 2010

Young Mink

I've caught several fleeting glimpses of the American Mink which live around Bretton Lakes but up to now none of them have lingered long enough to get a photograph.

They were the last thing on my mind this afternoon when I sat down on the bank of the top lake with high expectations of a visit from the Kingfishers and Wagtails. I'd been sat for barely five minutes when I caught sight of a couple of long, dark furry things, scrambling along a fallen tree at the edge of the lake.

The one at the rear quickly lost confidence and headed back from where it had come but the second one came out into the open to pose for some shots.

I think they're youngsters as they were only around a foot long, not including the tail.

At this point it swam across to the far side of the inlet and then out into the bushes on the shore. A few minutes later I heard a screech. I guess he/she had just caught a meal, probably one of the Bank Voles that we encourage to feed at the back of the hide!

Several more minutes went by and the Mink re-emerged, dived into the water and caught some kind of snail? Whatever it was it provided a snack.

If I'm correct and the adult Mink have now successfully bred, it can only have a negative impact on the reserve, particularly on the birds who nest on the ground and lake surface. The resident Great Crested Grebes have, for example, built at least 3 nests throughout this breeding season but they haven't produced any young. It is very likely that the Mink ate their eggs before they could hatch.


  1. Not the most welcome of river inhabitants but well caught. FAB.

  2. Good sequence of shots if not the best news this summer.