Saturday, 25 May 2013

Four Sites

 Vole, latrine, burrow and feeding at the railway bridge by Homebase

 Latrine (and trolleys) at White Lion Meadow

 Great habitat at Steel Grange - we found droppings, feeding and burrows.

Edgeley Road vole

This morning I visited the colony near Homebase, and immediately spotted the vole in the top photo. There were plenty of burrows, and though I didn't get down into the water channel and have a good poke about, the feeding signs and droppings were obvious even from the top of the bank.

Next I took a walk into town and glanced over the bridge in the main town car park (White Lion Meadow) to see this latrine laid out on a stone. So it looks as if there's at least one breeding female on that site.

Then this afternoon I went with a group to Steel Heath to examine good and bad water vole habitat. The bad habitat was a ditch too overshadowed with trees to have any useful vegetation growing underneath, and even in the patches where the trees thinned out, the bank had been poached by horses in the field. 

Just a few hundred yards away, however, was a friend's garden where an open stretch of brook ran through and there was lots of cover and food for voles. After a little searching we found droppings, feeding, burrows and trackways. The landowner here, as on the first site I visited, is nature-savvy and doesn't use chemical sprays or over-strim the riparian vegetation. It's always heartening to meet wildlife-guardians like these.

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