Sunday, 18 September 2011

Grocontinental, and Edward German Drive

Female water vole in the field off Edgeley Road (adjacent to the Grocontinental colony).

The Grocontinental ditch runs by the tree line.

Yes, there's a stream under here! Fantastic cover keeps the voles safe and gives them plenty to eat.

Part the vegetation to find grazing. Remember to cover up again afterwards.

Feeding station.

More grazing (click to enlarge). Can also be field vole, though, so check for latrines.

Old latrine with dried-out droppings. It's always worth checking old bits of wood.

The lorry park is very close to the banks.

Fresh water vole droppings, at the Edgeley Road end of the water course.

Lorry park on left, cement factory on right, stream in the middle.

Finally managed to battle my way down the public footpath at the back of Waymills Industrial Estate to check on the Grocontinental voles. I was able to find latrines and feeding right along the whole stretch up to the cement factory, which is a relief after the diesel discharge from the lorry park earlier in the year. Interestingly, though, the one section where I couldn't see any evidence of water vole presence was where the diesel was at its worst, pooling and contaminating the banks. Such pollution seems to have a definite detrimental effect lasting for months. Another concern I'd have is the amount of rubbish finding its way into the stream from Grocontinental's lorry park. Some may have got blown in, but some of it's clearly been chucked over the fence. It would be nice if the firm did a litter pick from time to time.

Later in the day I checked on Edward German Drive and there were plenty of feeding signs there, too. So I'm happy that these two colonies have had a stable year.

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