Sunday, 25 January 2009

Woodpeckers and Kingfishers







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Took a walk down the Prees Branch canal to collect the clay inserts from the rafts so I can re-set them for the Spring.
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Had a lovely long glimpse of a kingfisher flashing orange/blue for several hundred yards along the bank, and then further down watched a pair of greater spotted woodpeckers for about quarter of an hour.
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Vole-wise, there was some feeding by the marina raft (watercress and a nibbled-open ramshorn snail shell), and a latrine at what I like to call 'vole island' which is a hundred yards or so down from the Waterloo end of the canal. Good to see these signs when usually ther's so little evidence at this time of year.

7 comments:

urbanextension said...

Until I read your post tonight I didn't realise that water voles ate ramshorn snails. I've seen these remains before but always thought it must have been otters. Jane

Kate said...

Well I've never actually seen a water vole eating a snail, but I've seen shells in clumps next to w-v feeding, so I think they're the culprits. There are no otters on the canal that I know of, but I suppose it might be rats. They shells are very delicately nibbled around the edge.

I'm inclined to think vole, though, as they do take a spot of protein from time to time.

Kate said...

http://staggsbrook.blogspot.com/2007/10/well-blow-me-water-voles-eat-snails.html

Here's a post from two years ago showing the snail shells next to a w-v latrine and other feeding.

Jane said...

Thanks Kate. I will look out for these.

Kate said...

I've just been putting down a different mink raft and I found a land snail shell nibbled open in the same way (yellow shell? I don't know my snails). But it's definitely been eaten by something holding the shell in its paws, dextrously, the way a hamster would. That's why I'm thinking vole.

Nik's Blog said...

Terrific picture of the woodpecker! Very impressed.

Nik

Kate said...

Thanks! I thought it was a bit pants, myself. The trouble with birds is, they will NOT stay still to have their photo taken. ;-)