Common Shrew – Sorex araneus
Shrews have a number of predators and are most commonly killed by tawny owls and barn owls, although weasels, foxes, stoats and kestrels have all been observed as predators. They are often found abandoned by the predator, particularly cats, since a liquid produced from glands on the skin is foul tasting. Shrews are noted for providing a home for a large number of parasites, normally transmitted to the shrew from its prey.
Tri-coloured: dark brown on the back, pale brown at the sides and whitish underneath. Dense velvety fur, with long pointed snout, tiny eyes and small ears. 48-80mm in body length, tail length 24-44cm. Tail length 50% of head and body length.
Pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus)
Coat paler and two-tone, rather than common shrew’s tri-coloured coat. If you get a closer look: proportionately longer tail, much hairier than the common shrew tail. More domed head than common shrew.
Water shrew (Neomys Fodiens)
Much larger species than common shrew. Black fur on top with contrasting pale (often white) underside. Often has small white patches on ears. If you get a closer look: prominent keel of stiff, silvery hairs on underside of tail, not present in common shrew.