Saturday, 10 March 2007

Another sighting


At 4.45pm, by the pipe. There's also this latrine under the bridge. I think this means the females are gearing up to mate.

What's nice is how many people ask, as they go past, Are they there? Have you seen any yet? Adults and children, men and women. There's a real sense of community ownership with this little colony.

9 comments:

Howard said...

Kate, I met you today "on the bridge" with my daughter Danni. Many thanks for showing us the Water Vole, it certainly made my day as I don't think I have ever seen one before. The amount of footprints is a positive sign despite the recent strimming. We are very fortunate to have these animals in such an accessable location.

Dave said...

Are the gearing up early this time?
I don’t believe we’re blessed with a vole colony in the county town but everything else seems in line with last year: Geese eggs on the market; starlings in next doors attic and the frogs have been active since the second week in February – last year’s March frost cooled them down a bit, but hopefully we’ll get away with it this time.

Kate said...

It's great to spot a vole but reassuring that one can see field signs in the absence of voles. Aren't they tenacious animals? And appalling that, nationwide, their numbers have been more than decimated.

Great to meet you and Danni!

Kate said...

Dave, I'll look up where the vole colonies are near you - I'm pretty sure there are a few.

Yes, we've got frogspawn in our pond and a neighbour's just this minute emailed me with a picture of a pigeon nesting at the top of his drainpipe. It's a nice time of year when all the good weather's ahead. I like that May blossom, myself.

Dave said...

Thanks for that, Kate. It would be nice to find out if there was anything local. I've asked at the Wildlife Trust about the Rae Brook and the answer was rats in the town and mink in the country! They seemed to think all the voles are confined to the north of the county.

We've plenty of Blackthorn in burst at the moment and the May's well in leaf, and tiny buds, where it catches the direct sunlight. So I think we'll have May in April - again.

Howard said...

Further to Dave's post, Starlings are actively inspecting the nest box in the garden. If the last few years is anything to go by, they will forsake the box in favour of nesting under the gable end ! They are beautiful birds especially when the sun is shining on them and you can appreciate the plumage colours. I fail to understand why people dislike them so much.

Kate said...

Film of starlings en masse here, and people coming to watch them. There used to be a big flock like this over Ash every autumn evening.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/northamptonshire/content/articles/2007/02/01/starlings_over_sixfields_feature.shtml

Duxbury Ramblers said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog it's great to hear about the water vole.
Would love to spot some locally and I will certainly be keeping a look out for them. We have a river near by and plenty of lodges, unfortunately there are plenty of rats and mink.

Kate said...

Thanks! If you have otters nearby, there's a chance they'll drive out the mink. Or sometimes landowners will help control mink. I read in Cheshire Magazine a few months ago that mink numbers are in deline: let's keep our fingers crossed the trend continues!