Unusual animals that can be seen from UK trains

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duffield

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There's nothing unusual about the appearance of the many rabbits on the Wensleydale Railway, but they do seem fond of sitting on the rails until the train is about a foot away.

I think I saw a buzzard as well on the same trip. Probably full of rabbit.
 
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lejog

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Not sure if you can see Shepreth Wildlife Park's Tiger enclosure on the way past.

Once saw a club(?) of seals on a beach south of Helmsdale.

I once saw a train when walking alongside some seals on the beach between Brora and Helmsdale :D.
 

QueensCurve

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There's nothing unusual about the appearance of the many rabbits on the Wensleydale Railway, but they do seem fond of sitting on the rails until the train is about a foot away.

Rabbits sit on the signal troughing at Sellafield but shuffle off as the train approaches.
 

60163

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I know the SVR has been mentioned already, but it was amusing going there for the first time solo a few years ago, getting home and my dad asking "What did you see there?" with me replying "An elephant"
 

Dr_Paul

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Back when foxes in urban areas were a rarity, they would mostly be found by railways, particularly in places where humans rarely went, such as the space between the up line round from Strawberry Hill and the Windsor lines at Twickenham. Several times I saw a fox and its pups basking there in the sun. Nowadays, it seems that practically all foxes live in towns and nobody takes any notice of them, but 30 or more years back people on the train would point to them and -- remember, this is London -- actually strike up a conversation with a stranger about the spectacle.
 

JB_B

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Certainly the coastal stretch of the Far North Line around Brora is great for seals.

Closer to home, I understand that wild green ring-necked parrakeets are now very common in SE England but the only time i've ever seen them was a pair flying parallel to the train near the line north of Redhill just a couple of months ago - actually quite impressive birds.

The strangest I've seen was a dead pheasant stuck beak-first and centered right between the front end cab doors (almost like a weird trophy) - on a 37x arriving at London Victoria.
 

Dr_Paul

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I believed you up until this. :|

By 'conversation' I meant an involuntary exchange -- such as 'Oooh, look at that!' 'Isn't that sweet?' -- before the dread realisation kicks in that the vow of silence amongst London commuters has been broken and we all retreat in embarrassment behind our newspapers.

I suspect that folk from outwith London find this all a bit baffling, but it's true that it takes something exceptional to get people who have been travelling on the same train for 20 years to say anything to one another. This bloke here must have a death wish.

Returning to animals, I have mentioned this before, but I once saw a turkey in the six-foot between the Windsor lines at Richmond, in the mid-1980s. It was not only very dead, but had been plucked and prepared for the oven. Its presence there will remain a mystery to me.
 

Deepgreen

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Wild - Short-Eared Owl near Alnwick. Farmed - Llamas near Effingham Junction (the latter sounds a bit Reggie Perrin-esque!).
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Probably been mentioned but theres Red Kites to be seen around the Risborough area

Red Kites are some of the most remarkable wildlife expansions (albeit after reintroduction) of recent years - they are now up to almost Middle-Ages levels in the Chilterns and surrounding wide area. We are seeing more and more in Surrey too.
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Yes forgot about the Hayes deer. Its a strange minature breed and I've seen it twice between West Wickham & Hayes.

Sounds like Muntjak.
 

Arglwydd Golau

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After years of browsing this forum I've finally signed up. Probably the rarest animal I've seen from a train is a Purple Heron on Doxey Marshes, just north of Stafford station.

Ah, I've wondered what that place is called, never bothered to look it up, seems to be a bit of a wildlife haven, noticed what I took to be a Mink there once whilst train was halted at signals.
 

Orchid

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Red Kites are some of the most remarkable wildlife expansions (albeit after reintroduction) of recent years - they are now up to almost Middle-Ages levels in the Chilterns and surrounding wide area. We are seeing more and more in Surrey too.

You're right about the Kites, they're definitely spreading out naturally as well. I enjoy seeing them in new places further and further away from their reintroduction territories. I have had to throw the brake in on more than one occasion to avoid hitting one enjoying a bit of railkill. They see us coming from a long way away like the crows and magpies, but just like buzzards (hit three this year alone despite braking!) they are too slow and cumbersome to get out of the way quickly enough.
 

bearhugger

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On the Middlesbrough to Whitby line, I've seen hares, heron, birds of prey, deer, and cows & sheep on the line itself. Also at James Cook station I've seen a couple of foxes running on one of the rails past the station about 11pm.
 

crispy1978

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Not all the time, but I have frequently seen foxes between Malton and York.
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Saw a Purple Moose at Porthmadog once before!

(Have a think!)
 
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ScotTrains

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There are often ospreys nesting on a phone mast across from the power station near falls of Cruachan station on the Oban line. It's been reported that pine martins frequent the bird tables at the nearby visitor centre, though I haven't actually seen one from the train, yet.
 

Deepgreen

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There are often ospreys nesting on a phone mast across from the power station near falls of Cruachan station on the Oban line. It's been reported that pine martins frequent the bird tables at the nearby visitor centre, though I haven't actually seen one from the train, yet.

I have a photo somewhere of a Pine Marten trotting along one of the rails of the West Highland line near Corpach, seen from an ex-railway cottage immediately next to the track that we used to stay at in the 1980s.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
There are often ospreys nesting on a phone mast across from the power station near falls of Cruachan station on the Oban line. It's been reported that pine martins frequent the bird tables at the nearby visitor centre, though I haven't actually seen one from the train, yet.

I have a photo somewhere of a Pine Marten trotting along one of the rails of the West Highland line near Corpach, seen from an ex-railway cottage immediately next to the track that we used to stay at in the 1980s.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Last week there was a dead otter (decapitated) on the up fast at Acton Bridge, Cheshire.

According to Roger's Profanisaurus, "dead otters" are often found on railway lines but will become rarer as Controlled Emission Toilets continue to be rolled out!

Badgers can occasionally be seen on the cutting sides on the Huddersfield end of Thurstonland Tunnel, but the etymology of the next station would suggest they're expected there!

I've been told Mountain Hares can, if one is lucky, be seen at various places along the Heart of Wales line.
 

backontrack

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Once saw a club(?) of seals on a beach south of Helmsdale.
I once saw a train when walking alongside some seals on the beach between Brora and Helmsdale :D.
Certainly the coastal stretch of the Far North Line around Brora is great for seals.
Yeah, that stretch is great for seals (and seabirds).

The fact that so many people have mentioned the Far North Line (I think it's been mentioned the most so far on this thread) just goes to show what a treasure we have in it. It needs to be looked after.

There are alpaca near Embleton in the Lake District; I wonder if there are any currently open rail lines where you can see them?
 
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6Gman

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There are alpacas near Embleton in the Lake District; I wonder if there are any currently open rail lines where you can see them?

For many years there were alpaca adjacent to the former Calveley station on the Crewe - Chester line. Disappeared a few months ago.

There are still alpaca to be seen (I think) just SE of the former Betley Road station on the Crewe - Stafford line.
 

Dr_Paul

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The fields by the Bluebell Railway are quite good for wildlife; lots of pheasants at certain times of the year; and I've also seen deers, I'm not sure of the breed, they are about the size of a fallow, but darker in colour.

I think that I saw a pine-marten at Dolgoch on the Talyllyn Railway, but I'm not totally sure; it was dark grey, moved a like a squirrel but was the size of a cat.
 

aylesbury

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You can see deer ,red kites ,birds of prey and horses from trains at Chinnor and Risborough and we run a wild life special in our 121 dmu .
 

Calthrop

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With the Isle of Wight being southern England's chief remaining stronghold for red squirrels (some 3,000 of them on the Island – the usurping grey squirrels can’t get across the Solent) – said creatures there, tend mostly to be shy and rather seldom seen; but I’ve had a few strokes of luck encountering them, on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Mainly, observed in lineside trees; but a few years ago, one morning at Wootton before the first train of the day, a squirrel trotted across the platform just a couple of feet away from me, crossed over both tracks of the station’s loop, and disappeared into the vegetation on the other side of the line.
 

JB_B

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Yesterday afternoon I saw a snow-white squirrel standing one of the running lines just north of Haywards Heath p4 - then jumping off - never seen one of those before.

(The 700's PA was doing "the next station is-iszzzzz-iiizzzzzz-iizzzzz-zzz Three Bridges" - which added a slightly hallucinatory touch.)
 

hwl

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The (concrete) Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park in winter when the foliage has died back.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Yesterday afternoon I saw a snow-white squirrel standing one of the running lines just north of Haywards Heath p4 - then jumping off - never seen one of those before.

(The 700's PA was doing "the next station is-iszzzzz-iiizzzzzz-iizzzzz-zzz Three Bridges" - which added a slightly hallucinatory touch.)

Most mammals to a greater or lesser extent, have the occurence of albinism (if that's the right word). In wild populations these individuals are unlikely to survive beyond infancy due to being more vulnerable to predators or to being rejected. I'm not sure how common major variations in colouring are in the Mainland population of Greys, nor if there are pockets of populations of other varieties of squirrel. But albinos do survive to adulthood on occasion, so this may explain your white squirrel. Were you close enough to see if it had red eyes?

The issue you describe with the PIS is unique to humans and to AI, as far as I know! ;)
 
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M7R

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Not all the time, but I have frequently seen foxes between Malton and York.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Saw a Purple Moose at Porthmadog once before!

(Have a think!)

Can't beat a Purple Moose, any time I am over that way I have many orders from family for some of them :D
 
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