Sunday, 27 January 2008

Waiting











I note the New Hythe Birder (see links, "Excellent blog") has already seen a water vole this year, and my friend on the Wild About Britain forum's spotted one too. What with this and Bill Oddie handling a vole on tv this week, plus a wv mention in the BBC Wildlife magazine, I felt all fired up to go looking for myself.
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Did a huge litter pick down at White Lion Meadow - no trolleys in the water, but over two carrier bags' worth of rubbish all over the banks - and looked for prints and latrines while I was there. No luck, or at least, nothing definitely water vole. But I did meet a girl who told me she'd seen one up at the Tesco end a couple of days ago, and it had a brown (non-ratty) tail, so fingers crossed.
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After that I went for a walk at Brick Kiln Farm to see if there were any signs there. As usual there were plenty of field vole feeding stations and droppings, but nothing I could have said for certain was water vole. Then, just as I was about to leave, I found this skull which I'm fairly certain is. The yellow teeth, which water voles use for digging, show this particular animal was an adult.
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Hope I see some live ones in a month or two. It's hard work blogging about invisible voles.

4 comments:

Steve said...

Hi Kate ,yes been seeing Water Vole virtually every visit to my patch. There is one which is incredibly confiding. I managed another few pictures today. Apparently we nearly lost it the other day as a friend saw a Stoat/Weasel chase it.....

Kate said...

Who was it described them as 'nature's fast food'? Glad it got away that time.

Sue said...

I saw a good watervole print in the mud next to the brook at the bottom of the garden at the weekend. I did try to photograph it but my camera isn't quite up to it! The photo didn't show the print clearly enough. Nice to know that a vole is about though. We do think we have a rat feeding from the compost bin, but I don't think it was a rat's print. So no composting for the moment. Sadly I missed Bill Oddie...

Kate said...

That's good news, Sue. We had a rat in our garden for a month, but I think next door's cat dispatched it (give that animal a medal!).