Thursday, 27 March 2008

Drove out to Whixall Moss this afternoon to check out a couple of ditches. The reason the moss is so good for water voles is that all the ditches link up to form 'wildlife corridors', which are vital if colonies are going to cross-breed and build up healthy gene stock. Isolated colonies die out eventually. However, I didn't find much definitive - just a couple of fist-sized burrows (fourth photo down) and no telling whether they were rat. I include a photo (third down) of another ditch richly populated with field voles; there must have been a hundred burrows in the short stretch I looked at, all not much bigger than a £1 coin.
I called on the way back at the Prees Branch canal, and was delighted to hear a water vole plop as I took some photos of feeding. There was a lone w-v dropping on top of the mink raft, too.
Nothing much doing at White Lion Meadow, though. Maybe the vole I saw last week has a litter of babies and is keeping underground?


Jane said...

I had to laugh when you said you had driven out to see "a couple of ditches". It's not your usual afternoon drive! Great pictures as always. Hope to see your little water vole soon! I take it the shopping trolleys are keeping to dry land at the moment? Jane

Kate said...

Honest to God, Jane, I'm never happier than when I'm poking about in a ditch. And Whixall's a fantastic reserve - we're so lucky to have it.

Yes, we've had no more trolley trouble since the coin-op ones were installed.

You can see last week's vole - well, the nose and whiskers, anyway - if you click on the top photo of the previous post to enlarge.