Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Wrong Voles

Early small tortoiseshell.

Burrow behind Edward German Drive. Below, four burrows in the field off Edgeley Road. They're so neat they look as if they've been cut out with a length of pipe. For scale, think Pringles tube.

Prints at White Lion Meadow. I've left them small to show scale, but you can click to enlarge.

Three droppings and some pawprints at the road end of Edward German drive.

It's not completely clear but I'm fairly sure this is a degraded latrine, by the railway bridge near Homebase.

Yet more signs: lots of footprints at White Lion Meadow, stacks of burrows in the field off Edgeley Road, burrows and droppings at Edward German Drive, and a latrine at the railway bridge by Homebase. I set up my camping stool yesterday afternoon to see if I could record my first vole sighting of the year and I sort of did - a wee field vole popped up beside me, trotted about, then vanished down the bank into the water. You can tell the species apart not just by size (baby w-vs are a similar size to f-vs) but because f-vs move in such a nervous, jerky way. W-vs, as long as they don't know you're watching, tend to amble and bumble about - though they can move like lightning when they need to!

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