Thursday, 3 February 2011

Mustelidae (3): Mink alert!

I have never to my knowledge seen a Mink, so I don't have a photograph to post. I was amazed, however, to read on Professor P. Brain's blog that one of these creatures had put in an appearance in my neck of the woods, in the Swansea Bay area of South Wales, UK.

It was spotted by Dr Dan W. Forman. You can read about the unusual (and many would say 'undesirable') visitor here on Professor P. Brain's blog.

Swansea Bay, with the University of Swansea just off to the left
Minks were brought to Britain from America in the 1920s. Their coats are dark brown and glossy, often with white areas. These creatures are smaller than the Otter but larger than the Weasel, despite the fact that they are small enough to squeeze into a Water Vole hole in pursuit of prey. You can see from the map that Mink are found in most areas of the British Isles.

3 comments:

Randy Emmitt said...

Caroline,

I have only seen one mink in my life and never though they could be in South Wales. Maybe one day you will see one.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I've seen mink on the Water of Leith. They should be declining across the UK now as our rivers are cleaner and otters can outcompete mink on clean rivers

Jeremy said...

Hi Caroline,
Thanks for your comments on my blog.
I've never seen a Mink myself, in south Wales or anywhere else, but I was talking to a photographer at Kenfig Pool before Christmas who has been photographing them on the River Neath. He's put some photos on Flickr - his Mink shots can be seen at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/markdavies2009/sets/72157625026828565/ . Have you seen any Otters in south Wales? The only previous time I've been to Sandy Water Park, I was talking to a fellow who's seen, and photographed, loads of Otters around Llanelli, although always after dark. I guess you just need to know where to look!