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...
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.
Above: two feeding stations and a piece of vole-cut stalk.
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.
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.
This blog charts the fortunes of water voles in and around the Whitchurch area, North Shropshire. Water voles are one of the UK's most threatened mammals, extinct in many counties, and so it's vital they receive as much monitoring and protection as there is going. Here in Whitchurch we're lucky enough to have them right in the middle of town - how cool is that?