Migration is most associated in our minds with the long distance flyers such as Arctic terns or Swallows. However, migration takes place at virtually all scales of animal life and across much smaller areas. Within the Roseland several species move considerable distances seasonally in search of resources across the range of habitats here, including our tiniest mammals, the shrews.
There are three species of UK mainland shrew: Pygmy (Sorex minutus), Common (Sorex araneus), and Water shrew (Neomys fodiens). Similar to mice and voles in appearance, shrews are in fact related to moles and hedgehogs. They have very small eyes and ears, but large snouts, smell being the principal sense used in foraging. Pygmy shrew is the smallest of the three species, but its long tail is two thirds its body length, making it overall longer than the Common shrew whose tail is proportionately short. Both these species have rich brown upper body fur, and a greyer underbelly. By contrast, he Water shrew is considerably larger, and is easily identifiable by its almost black upper body fur and silver underbelly. All shrews are good swimmers, but the Water shrew has special adaptations for its more aquatic life, such as stiff hairs on the feet to help it paddle, and a keel of hairs on its tail for manoeverabillity.