2009-04-03 Lower Austria, district Mödling - Perchtoldsdorfer Heide (310 msm Quadrant 7863/4). German name: Europäischer Ziesel Relatively rare but with stable colonies on many places in Eastern Austria, like here on Perchtoldsdorf heath. This species was much more common some decades ago, when there existed many more dry heaths and meadows in the lowlands - much of them now have been converted to ploughland, or else have been afforested. In early spring, males are the first ones to appear (to put on fat, it seems, as later on they're busy both courting and defending their females, and feeding their young: for that see remarks here)
- so in all likelihood those you can see here (and in the other photos linked below) are males.