Saturday, 25 July 2015

Ragwort and Water Voles

 Commas

 Southern Hawker

 What looks like a vole-cut to me, and the plant was right next to a burrow and a feeding station.





It's clear, especially when you're doing The Big Butterfly Count, how much insects love ragwort. But I thought mammals avoided eating the fresh plant because it tasted nasty. However, this does look like water vole-gnawing to me (third photo down) as it was high up the stem, a slanted cut, and right next to a burrow and other feeding. I've never found ragwort in feed stations, so my guess is a water vole just gave this a try, thought it was horrible and gave up.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Stoat





A couple of days ago I was waiting for voles and a stoat appeared, slinking through the grass. It's been a week and a half since I had a good photo of a water vole, and it struck me that perhaps they'd changed their patterns to be more nocturnal and avoid the predator. There were still plenty of field signs about. I stuck the trail cam down and yes, it looks as if that's the case.

Which leads me to another question: when do water shrews ever sleep?

Monday, 13 July 2015

Amphibians at Brown Moss


Possibly a Mother Shipton moth?


Juvenile common newt


 Juvenile coot


Spot the teeny toad!


A young great crested newt (and friend)


Water shrew at the back




Edgeley Road water vole

Friday, 3 July 2015

Now Summer's Really Here



 water vole latrine



speckled wood


yellowhammer



young toads


a great crested newt


huge common toad


privet hawk moth


juvenile water vole again (note the large feet)

Friday, 26 June 2015

Amazing Performing Voles









The top photo gives a view of the paler pelage, which is useful for voles hiding from underwater predators like pike.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Massive Feet


One of the ways you can tell a young water vole is by its huge feet.