Sunday, 30 September 2007

I was wrong: hooray!

Didn't have my camera with me, but this evening I watched, for twenty minutes, a White Lion Meadow water vole tearing out roots and chopping them up. It was especially nice as the dirty old trolleys have now been removed from the brook.

Friday, 28 September 2007

I think the voling season may be over: it's true that last year I managed to keep spotting them at White Lion Meadow car park till the start of November, but there was a much bigger colony and also the weather was quite a lot milder. Water voles don't hibernate, but they do spend longer and longer periods underground as winter takes hold.
So instead of a vole I post pictures of the installation of the information board near Whitchurch Country Park. I saw a water vole just across the road from here, swimming under the bridge, one evening early this summer. (I should add, the board isn't really 6 feet high. The picture was taken before we sank the legs into concrete.)

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

A Painter in Paradise

Popped up to the zoo again, this time to see Rosie Rees's smashing art exhibition, 'A Painter in Paradise'. Lovely studies of animals!
While I was there, I checked in at the reedbed by the elephant house, and took these photos.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Voles and Trolleys

I've actually photographed this water vole through the bars of the latest abandoned Tesco trolley. You can, in the larger picture, just see his nose poking out. I'll say again, what are we doing here? A creature on the edge of being wiped out, that wildlife groups all over the UK are desperate to save. It's an appalling and shameful situation, and yet one which could so easily be remedied.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Yes, I know I'm never going to make wildlife photographer of the year. Top is today's vole (click to enlarge, and you'll see him on the extreme left) while at the bottom is a picture showing feeding. The picture third down shows the overgrown state of the banks at White Lion Meadow, but this is a good thing because it provides plenty of cover and food. And we have another trolley, which I've reported to the Environment Agency. Sigh.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Still too busy to show myself.

These stalks won't chop themselves up, you know.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

White Lion Meadow car park

Sometimes you stand there like a fool and you know there's a vole there but it won't come out. I could see, high up on the bank, nettles being vigorously pulled and chewed, and there were pieces of cut vegetation floating in the water.
The brook looks so much better for the trolleys being removed. Thanks, EA.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Not a vole

But worth a photo, I thought. This is an elephant hawk moth caterpillar that my son found in the garden. When threatened, it rears up like a snake - very convincing false eyes. If I was a bird, I'd think twice. There's also a horn on its last segment, for added intimidation.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

I've not been able to get down to the brook for a week, but it's great to see there've been more sightings at White Lion Meadow car park. Also had an encouraging response from the Environment Agency re trolleys. I suppose I have to wait and see what happens practically, but at least I feel someone's on the case now.