Brief Encounter

Walking the dogs the other evening, all three of us caught sight of something dark moving over by a log, and the dogs ran over to investigate. I assumed it was a hedgehog, and we would have the usual stand-off – hedgehog rolled tightly in a ball, dogs not sure what to do, so barking and wagging tails. Not this time though.

Cally picked up the wee beastie, only to drop it when it squeaked. Glen thought this was a good game, so he picked it up, again dropping it when it let out a shrill squeak – just like a child’s squeezy toy. Only then did I see it was a (by now) very disgruntled mole. It squeaked a couple more times, went under the log (followed closely by two wet noses) and disappeared underground beneath a mound of earth in seconds, leaving two very excited dogs sniffing around trying to work out where their new friend had gone.

It’s not often you find moles out on the surface, so I wonder what it was up to?

Reading Kenneth Mellanby’s The Mole (New Naturalist Monograph 22), although most moles seen on the surface during the summer months are young individuals, born that year, older moles do sometimes come out of their burrows, and it seems likely that moles come above ground more often than is usually imagined.


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