Having mentioned Mink in my last posting I searched here for my previous encounters and found that the best story was only on Flickr but this website is where it should be; so here goes.
Mink were first in the UK in the late 1920s, in Mink farms, where they were bred for their fur. Unfortunately some escaped, some were released, and they were being reported in the wild in the late 1950s. They had an established population even prior to the releases by animal rights activists and the the decline in the fur trade when, again, many were released. They are excellent predators and are one of the contributors to the decline of the Water Vole.
There is nothing gory in this story but if you like your wildlife all fluffy and friendly then you might not want to read on.
I was just about to take a photo of them when all hell broke loose.
A Mink had caught one of the chicks. It took it to the river bank and climbed up into the bushes.
It then surprised me by coming back out again and started hunting out the other chick.
Sniffing around, poking its nose between the rocks.
It soon caught the other one and the Moorhen adult watched defenceless as it was taken up onto the river bank.
It then carried it along the rocks at the side, heading up river.
Up over rocks
Leaping over the water between rocks
Running along the muddy river bank
Pausing occasionally to check that I wasn’t a threat on the other side of the river
before carrying on…
and on ….
until it got to this point where it climbed up a couple of rocks and disappeared into a tangled mass of tree roots.
Almost immediately it came back out again and set off down river.
and very soon it was back with the first chick that it had hidden.
That behaviour shows quite a bit of cunning. If it had brought the 1st one up river, to what I assume were its young, then by the time it got back down the adult and chick would have moved on to safety.
I have a few more photos of Mink and this link will show the thumbnails of them.