Saturday, 28 January 2012

Carnivore Survey

Suspect these snails have been eaten by voles.

Field vole latrine

Field vole burrow - with close-cropped lawn around the entrance!
 I thought only water voles made lawns like this.

Bagging up and labelling the otter spraint.

Gareth Parry and members of the Shropshire Mammal group are studying the impact of carnivores on water voles this year. Today we warmed up by taking a look at the profile of the brook as it passes through Whitchurch Country Park (Greenfields Nature Reserve). No obvious water vole signs, but the site's teeming with field voles and we also found otter, badger and fox scat along the same stretch.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Voling 2012

 Whose prints?

 Whose burrow?

 Whose feeding?

Took a walk down to the fields on either side of the railway track to see if anything was stirring yet. There are prints - but are they rat? And burrows - ditto. Plenty of feeding signs, too, but that could be field vole (I saw a field vole run past as I was peering down a bank).
Time will tell. Weather/temperature permitting, I'd expect to see water vole latrines appearing within the next couple of months. They are the best indicator of w-v presence, bar an actual sighting.