Tuesday, 14 August 2018

A Surprise from Tiny Spot!





A non-spotted juvenile. Or does it in fact have a tiny tuft of white hair on its forehead? I can't decide.

The female I've named 'Grey-scruffy'.

The dark female. Her territory adjoins Grey-scruffy's.




One of the spotted voles on the near bank, and the Dark Vole opposite.




And the surprise is - there's more than one very young spotted water vole on the patch! I counted at least three. So this has to be genetics. It will be interesting to see if any of them make it through the winter and appear next year.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Grocontinental: the Story of a Helpful Compliance Officer


One of the shy Grocontinental voles.


Grocontinental's Compliance Officer explains how they have not only protected but enhanced the water vole habitat on this busy industrial site. Very few predators here too, which is a bonus!
  


The posts are being kept in to mark the boundary.
Below, plenty of burrows in the banks.


And plenty of latrines.



 There are still one or two areas of the site that can be tweaked, but they're on the list, and Grocontinental are asking the Whitchurch Water Vole Group and Shropshire Wildlife Trust for advice.


I was invited on site for an hour and a half last night and saw three young voles. So things are looking good!



Perhaps most importantly, this colony helps keep other, nearby colonies - like the one I follow at Edgeley Road - alive and thriving. Isolated colonies quickly die out, but as long as the voles can travel between groups and exchange genes, they stay healthy.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

White Spots: Genetic?


Here is the adult vole with unusually dark fur, plus one of her offspring. No spots on either of them






But the juvenile below does have, if you look carefully, a small white spot on its forehead. And so does the younger baby below. So I presume they're related? But I think, looking at the relatively tolerant behaviour they display with each other, they both belong to the dark adult.





Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Families Still Expanding





Grazing by water voles. 





Above and below, latrines at White Lion Meadow car park.



 My first Clouded Yellow!




 I'm finding burrows well away from the brook now. Derek Gow thinks this might be because the population is doing so well this year and the banks of the stream are becoming crowded.




Above, "Tiny Spot" and below, the dark vole who might be its mother and who holds one of the territories around this area.



 This is how small a newly-out-of-the-nest water vole is.