Monday, 25 July 2011

Grocontinental: after the diesel

Edgeley Road water vole. If you click to enlarge, you can just make out the orangeness of the teeth.

By the short culvert in the middle of the field. Just a few droppings is all it takes to confirm water vole presence.

Old latrine

Fresh latrine

Vole-cut stems.

Skull found at the Edgeley road end. Normally water vole teeth are much yellower/orange than this - I think this orange colour of the enamel is to do with extra strength as w-vs use their teeth to dig. I can't account for the paleness of this particular vole's enamel, but the size shows it definitely is water- and not field- or bank-vole.

I'd intended to survey the whole length of the stream as it goes past the Waymills units, but I was only able to get half way up the first field because the nettles and thistles are now chest-height and I ran out of steam. What I did find, though, was encouraging.
A week or so after the discharge of diesel into this brook, the voles seemed to vacate that stretch. Where there'd been abundant signs before, suddenly there was nothing except right at the Edgeley Road end just before the culvert. However, a few months down the line and activity seems to be spreading slowly back up again.

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