Wednesday, 27 February 2013
In previous years I've often had my first sighting by now, but the temperature's been so bitter I haven't had the courage to go and sit outside for hours. However, the field signs are still good. Here are fresh burrows and recent prints and feeding, and though the ground's still sodden, there are now more stretches of the brook which are habitable.
Friday, 1 February 2013
As I've said before, water vole footprints are not easy to confirm because they're of a similar size and shape to rats', and rats tend to hang out in the same places as water voles. However, here's selection of footprints which I'm fairly sure are vole, from White Lion Meadow (main town car park), the field off Edgeley Road, and the ditch by Grocontinental. I think they're water vole because they're a little smaller than your average rat, and more importantly, they're more splayed and star-shaped.
Top photo shows diagonal-cut feeding of thick iris leaves that is definitely the work of a water vole.