Sunday, 10 June 2012

Update on Saddler's Walk and Black Park Road

Juvenile vole, Edgeley Road.

 Two adult voles, also Edgeley Road. This colony is very busy.

Otter spraint and water vole droppings, Black Park Road.

Feeding station, Black Park Road.

The Staggsbrook as it passes near the railway bridge, Black Park Road. Very little water visible due to the lushness of the reeds.

The ditch behind Saddlers Walk/Hatton Way, or Mossfields as it's known. Last year there was very little water and the vole signs disappeared.

Now there are dozens of feeding stations here along the whole L-shaped length of the ditch, suggesting a decent colony.

It's very heartening to see how these two colonies are doing this year. I'd say there are more field signs than I've ever seen in these particular areas, and the otter presence is a bonus. Hatton Way/Saddler's Walk is interesting because of last year's apparent desertion, plus what looks like dredging having gone on over the winter.. Dredging can be disastrous for water voles if it's done wrongly - it needs to be done slowly and just one bank at a time. However, the other bank is inaccessible because of a fence so that's probably what's saved the voles here. My question ins: where do these voles come from? The nearest colony I know is across the Newport Road - only half a mile but over very challenging terrain.

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