Monday, 1 January 2007

Starry prints


So where are the voles at the moment? The brook's looking wintry and sad, and I haven't seen a vole since November 5th.

But water voles don't hibernate, so although they spend much less time above ground, they are about, as the footprints above show. The way to differentiate between a vole and a rat print is to look at the shape: the toes on a vole's back feet are splayed out in a star-shape. (Excellent photos of this on the Whitchurch Water Vole Group website - see links). It's good to see these prints appearing regularly in the absence of actual vole sightings.

4 comments:

Debbie said...

I'm very pleased that there are signs that the water voles are still living at Staggs Brook, even though they seem to be rather shy during these winter months. Well done Kate for getting the car and shopping trolleys removed from the stream. I really enjoyed watching the water voles this summer and it would be a disgrace if the water voles are frightened away from their home.

Kate said...

Thanks, Debbie. They were a real focus for the community, weren't they? Everyone enjoyed the voles. Fingers crossed they'll be visible again soon.

Dave said...

Many thanks for setting up this wonderful blog. We’re just down the road in Shrewsbury and had to make an emergency stop over in Whitchurch last year. We spent some time on the bridge but didn’t manage to catch site of any of the little creatures. Will bookmark the site and certainly be back when the action (and the weather!) hots up. Keep up the fantastic work.

Kate said...

I'll keep you informed of developments, Dave!