Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Same time, same place

Going on Dave's tip yesterday, I took myself down to the timber yard and almost straight away saw this water vole. It looked like a pregnant female to me, but that might just be wishful thinking on my part.


kath said...

Lovely shot! Hurray that they're back!

Dave said...

But a clearer and rather more measured photo.

The shifting territory question’s interesting. What happens with the young? Do they disperse and look for new homes/mates as soon as they’re able? Do the last of the season stick around and over-winter with their parents?

Perhaps the car-park stretch became vacant last autumn due to the voles being muscled aside by rats or maybe the voles died off naturally over the winter. It could stay vacant until the first brood are mature enough to start their own families.

Kate said...

I think your final paragraph answers your question. Sad to say, I don't think Spot made it, and I suspect his territory's now vacant and waiting for the population overspill from Edward German Drive/the timberyard (the two sections either side of the main car park stretch).

I think the voles tend to disperse fom July onwards; I seem to remember Derek Gow telling me this when I queried a mid-season fall in numbers during 2006.