Saturday, 31 January 2009

Bits and Pieces

A burrow at White Lion Meadow

Possible old droppings at White Lion Meadow

Prints at Edward German Drive

Prints all along the ditch near Grocontinental

The ditch near Grocontinental - industrial estate end

The ditch near Grocontinental - Edgeley Road end

Laid a raft at Steel Heath this morning to monitor the colony there, and this afternoon went for a poke around the ditches near my house to see if there was any activity. I hadn't been there two minutes before I saw another kingfisher - amazing, given how bleak the banks look just now. I would never have guessed they'd live so close to the industrial estate.
There were lots and lots of prints in the mud, but are they water vole or rat? It's not a good time of year to look for droppings, and recent strimming made searching for feeding pretty much impossible as there were pieces of cut reed everywhere.
After that I popped down to White Lion Meadow and saw more confusing prints, plus what might be water vole droppings, though again it's not clear. There was a burrow just above the pipe, too.
Finally I had a walk up to Edward German Drive and spotted yet more prints, plus some feeding on buttercups.


Dave said...

I think rat are usually more elongated, and can be almost hand-like from what I’ve seen. But it’s near impossible to get a good ID in the really squidgy mud as they splay out very easily. I’d say, unhelpfully, there are some of each in the Grocontinental ditch

Kate said...

I'm sure you're right. There are rats everywhere!