Saturday, 18 September 2010

Debbie's Voles- Update



Latrine

Just this V shaped nibble is a water-vole giveaway.

Below, two feeding stations.


I've posted before about my friend Debbie's water voles, the ones that live by the railway bridge near Homebase: http://staggsbrook.blogspot.com/search/label/railway%20bridge%20by%20Homebase . Now, because it's coming to the end of the year, I've been doing a tour round of known colonies and it's cheering to see the ones here obviously still doing well. A few hundred yards further up is the Black Park Road colony, also fine.
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The guinea pig is Debbie's too, and I post it because I was struck by how similar the general blunt shape of the face is to a water vole's. This is a useful comparison when trying to explain to people how water voles are very much not rats. (Guinea pig droppings are also very simlar to water voles' - can be a handy reference point if you're training up surveyors!)

4 comments:

womagwriter said...

They are similar aren't they? Though I think voles are somewhat smaller?

Kate said...

Generally yes, though there's perhaps a bit of overlap. I'd say a big water vole is not far off the same size as a small normal-weight guinea pig. (My own guinea pigs are on the fat side!)

Henry Walloon said...

An insiprational blog! Keep up the great work Kate.

On the subject of those latrines, there is a mushroom (Hebeloma radicosum) that is "famous" for its love of growing on mole latrines (indeed I've had the, err, pleasure (?!) of seeing one doing so). I've read it enjoys vole poo also but have never seen a photo to back-up this claim. If anyone can find one Kate, ...

Kate said...

I've seen loads of vole latrines over the years but never one with fungus growing on it. Perhaps because it so often gets washed away. Will keep a look out!