Saturday, 23 August 2014

Shy


The voles have definitely been shyer this last fortnight. I suspect a predator myself - that stoat, maybe - but nevertheless there's still a fair amount of activity about.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Ticking Over







Everything seems to have settled down now, and there are plenty of latrines again. I still feel numbers are slightly below previous years', though.

Monday, 4 August 2014

In More Hopeful News








I waited around a lot and did see this juvenile over two days, plus an older vole further up the stream. They seem shyer than normal, though. I still suspect it's the stoat who's rattled them.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Concerned











In spite of the photos above, I've been concerned this last week that there has been a drop in water vole numbers at one particular site, and in fact I've had three days where I've seen nothing at all. I haven't spotted any sign of mink but there is quite a lot of stoat scat about, and I've had a couple of trail cam clips. So as soon as this rain stops, I'll go back out and have a really good look to try and work out what's going on. Stoats are native predators, therefore they shouldn't be a problem, but I suppose if there's been a big enough explosion in the population this year then that might have reduced water vole numbers severely.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Hedgehogs and Shrews











Here's the only half-decent footage I've managed to capture of a water shrew. Blink and you'll miss it.

The hedgehog clip is a poser, as it turns out I've mis-labelled what's going on. What I thought was the small hog's mother was in fact attempting to mount the little hog, so I can only assume this is a very small or juvenile sow being courted by a large adult boar. How old is she? How old do females have to be to start breeding?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Of Moths and Voles




Poplar Hawk moth, Yellow Swallowtail moth, Elephant Hawk moth



Got the chance to use a moth trap in our garden and was thrilled by the results. Meanwhile, the Edgeley Road voles are still thriving.

Friday, 11 July 2014

The Ditch at Broughall







The ditch at Broughall yielded its first sighting of an adult nesting vole. It's a hopeless site for taking photos there because the vegetation's so dense, so the vole pictured here is from Edgeley Road. But I have no doubt there's a big population in the stream that crosses the bridleway.