Shrew / Musaraigne?

Gardening this afternoon involved clearing an area of long grass and bricks.
Saw a small black creature that looked similar to a mouse - but a very short tail and pointy face.
Wonder whether it could have been a shrew, and how common they are in SW France?

Very. :slight_smile:


Yes very, our cats love them.
We have a nosy one who lives in the wall of the hanger and comes out when I am digging in the veg garden, loves worms.

Could it have been a vole? We found one recently.

Pretty common everywhere (rural), I think, in France, I’ve had shrews in and around the house wherever I’ve lived in France.

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They bite if you pick them up, as I found out to my regret.

Voles are altogether rounder and chunkier looking. Shrews have that characteristic pointy face and wiggly nose.

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Good description, Vero. I think we have both. Somebody must be livingin the hundreds of neat round holes in our (pause for laughter here) “lawn”


I bet that’s voles - we have them too, and I had a dog who did that fox-like springing straight up and down with all four feet off the ground to make them come out. Extraordinary to watch, and fascinating.

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Unfortunately, I only ever see dead ones… there are lots of cats next door :cry:

Surprised one today in a flower bed with the Virginia creeper I was attacking - it took off pretty sharpish after the initial surprise!

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We usually first see our ‘dead ones’ around dawn on top of the duvet. Yes, we do have cats, but no longer have any rats or mice in the house. However, voles and their ilk have a prodigiously high reproduction rate, so I don’t think our cats will render them extinct: our duvet corpse problem is long-term.

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Isn’t it good when cats leave nice little presents like that for you? Not a problem we’ve had so far :crossed_fingers:

I used to sometimes feed the local feral cats and let them shelter in the garage if it was raining. They used to bring me a present and leave it outside the front door… the best part of their kill which was the liver! Just the liver!
Izzy x



Lucky you, I get gall bladders and stomachs and possibly a little bit of tripe.

Cats really like to treat us don’t they!

I used to have a cat years ago, called Tiger, and he would bring me just the back legs and tail as if to say “you can have my unwanted leftovers”.
Once, a feral cat outside was covered in blood from mouth, down his chest and front legs to his paws. I rushed outside thinking it had had a terrible accident or been in a fight but it was calmly cleaning the blood off itself. It was just a particularly gory kill.
Izzy x

I spotted the creature very close to our vegetable patch and several fairly new fruit trees.

Because her vegetables have been unmolested and the trees have not been girdled, I think that its more likely to be a shrew than a vole.