Sunday, 25 March 2007

Vole love

Two voles this evening, doing a courtship routine which consisted of repeated chasing, coupling and ignoring each other.
Malcolm Monie's had an email from Mr Sturton at NSDC letting us know of work next week to the banks further up from this section, but reassuring us it would be sympathetic. The men have been given instructions to cut to a height of 6 inches so as to leave some food and cover for the water voles. No herbicide to be used this year and they have been told to leave a wider margin along the brook at Edward German Drive when mowing the grass. So that's a good example of 'joined up thinking' when it comes to environmental maintenance.
Had a walk down Whixall Moss and saw sporadic evidence of feeding and a couple of burrows near the car park. There are plenty of ditches all round the Moss, but unfortunately most of them are pretty choked up.


Dave said...

I'm glad the photos aren't too racy!

Has anyone seen any voles at Brown Moss at all? It’s only a couple of miles south.

Kate said...

Malcolm Monie said he'd found signs there recently. I suppose they live in the reed beds. Might go out there soon and have a look myself.

In the second photo down (if you enlarge it by clicking) the vole's just in the middle of shaking water off itself; ten seconds later and it was dry. Amazing coats they have.

Howard said...

Which car park at Whixall Moss ?
I birdwatch and walk the dogs on WM and hadn't realised that WVs were there. I assume that they are on the edges of the moss in the streams and ditches as opposed to on the moss itself ? I was there Saturday, not too many birds to report, some Curlews back and a single Chiffchaff was the only migrant. 2 Oystercatchers on the floods by Morris's bridge.

Kate said...

We saw a curlew, too.

The car park is the first one you come to, over the canal bridge near Furber's scrap yard. There's a stagnant-looking ditch immediately on the edge of that car park where I saw a vole about four years ago, then to the right there's another long ditch, plus one that runs in parallel, and that's the area where I saw the burrows/ nibbled grass.