Monday, 5 October 2015

Squeezing the Last Drops out of Summer.

 Common lizard

Very juvenile newt 

 Field voles

 Prees Heath

Meadow Pipit


 Fly agaric

 Common frog

Juvenile smooth newt 

 Small tortoiseshell

Shaggy ink cap

Common toad

Friday, 11 September 2015

Winding up the Season

I never see much of the voles after early September, so this blog goes into semi-hibernation for the winter. However, I'll be keeping track of the hedgehogs and any other wildlife encounters over the colder months. Then fingers crossed it'll all kick off again in Spring...

Friday, 4 September 2015

The Days are Growing Shorter

Common toad and Common Blues at Black Park Road

The ditch at Broughall, with some water vole droppings

Edgeley Road vole, and a latrine below.

I felt lucky to see this vole as they've been very shy lately. Also, there was a flash flood in the field, so I worried some might have been drowned. But no, they're hanging on, both here and at Broughall.

Sunday, 30 August 2015


Shy vole

 Above: two feeding stations and a piece of vole-cut stalk.

 Latrine sites

Looks like a burrow but it's actually just a trackway through the grass into the water.

It was great to be invited onto Grocontinental's site for a water vole survey, given that normal public access has been closed and the footpath fenced off. I'm pleased to say we found vole signs, even after all the building and landscaping work that's been going on, and the company say they want to improve water vole habitat and make a feature of the ditch for their employees to enjoy. That's a terrific aim, and encouraging to hear.

We've also been assured we can go back and survey the site at regular intervals in the future.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Postcard from the North Yorkshire Coast

 Grey seals

 A toad (and the ferrule of my husband's walking stick).

 Painted Lady


 An odd threesome of Southern Hawkers


If anyone can ID the dragonfly/darter/chaser in the fourth picture down, feel free!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

 Elephant hawk moth


 Common shrew

 Baby grass snake (Brown Moss)


I am really struggling to get more than swift glimpses of water voles at the moment. They seem very shy, so whether this means numbers are down on their usual August peak, or whether there's a predator about, I don't know. So the best I can give you this week is a misty video clip, caught by using a trail cam.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Why is a Vole like a Squid?

 The cloud of sediment that sometimes tells you you've just missed a water vole.


 Common Blue

 Small Copper

 Red Admiral


 Juvenile common newts, found under an abandoned suitcase on a brownfield site (Mile Bank)

 Large White

 Holly Blue

 Chocolate Tip

 Privet Hawk moth

 Ragged Robin

 Grass snake

OK, water voles don't produce their own ink cloud, but they do rely on a cloud of sediment they kick up to escape from predators.