Sunday, 24 June 2007

Whixall Moss

A fantastic place, this - right by Furbur's scrap yard, thus providing entertainment for my other half while I go poking about in ditches.
Today, while looking for water voles, I came across a crowd of very tiny frogs, a light brown lizard of some kind, plus these characters above. If anyone can identify them, please do.
As for water voles, the top photo shows the kind of habitat there is round there - ideal in many ways. It's fairly choked up with glyceria, but because of all the rain we've had lately there's quite a lot of water too. I found the feeding station in the ditch immediately by the car park, and on the way back home I pulled over in the lay-by that's just over the canal bridge and found a fresh water vole latrine.
Despite all the rain I was able to get out to Yockings Gate and see another vole midweek (alas, the photo I got was so rubbish it's unpostable!).


Anonymous said...

Whixall Moss is a wonderful place, and really much bigger than I thought it would be. I’ve only been once and was gob-smacked at so much going on a few feet away from all those scrap-yards.

Your photos are always better than anything I do. I’ve had my camera a year and am only just working out the stupid mode dial on the top.

Kate said...

Thanks! I've just checked Steve's blog (see links) and the lizard I saw was almost certainly a common lizard. The blue damselfly is a common blue damselfly.

Anonymous said...

We had a paddle at the weekend from Platts Lane to the lift bridge at the Moss car-park and almost the whole length of the canal was reinforced with steel making the banks inaccessible for burrows. Are all the living quarters in the Moss?

We did see a thumb-sized toad who was desperate to cross the water – and made it safely – and quite a few swallows skimming the boat.

Kate said...

Years since I've seen a toad! You lucky things.

Yes, the voles live in ditches. There is a stretch of the canal further down which isn't shuttered, and they live there, too (see the earlier post about Whixall Hall Farm).

Anonymous said...

We had toads in East London and when our family lived in Oxford they had more toads than frogs. I think it's the first one I've seen in Shropshire but we're pretty sure it was a toad.

There's a colony of Natterjacks out on the Dee estuary but I'm not sure what the best seeing time is.

Mark said...

Hi Kate, thanks for the comments,Whixall moss is one of my favourite places as you are usually not dissapointed in what you come across. The damselflies are both Emerald damselflies, the one with blue on it is the male, the other the female.
I would guess that we have a mutual friend in John Harding if you are into water voles.

Cheers Mark

Kate said...

Brilliant, Mark - thanks for the info. I love the Moss, too. What I'd really like to spot (apart from herds of voles, obviously) is an adder.

Yes, I see fair bit of John and Rosie. He took me to see badgers last year, which was terrific, and I was in Rosie's office at the zoo just last week admiring her paintings. A really really nice couple.

I may bump into you, then, at some point!