Thursday, 25 April 2013

New Film about Whitchurch Water Voles

From UK360. Thanks to John Harding and Rosie Rees for their excellent footage and editing, and to Roxanne Pointu and Media Trust.

Monday, 22 April 2013

First Garden Hedgehog of the Year

The guy in the shed's still quiet, though. This year I'll try and report all my sightings to Hedgehog Street: http://www.hedgehogstreet.org/

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Dive!



When water voles are swimming along the surface of the water and sense threat, they dive and kick up a screen of mud. Then they make for the the nearest underwater burrow. They can pop up anywhere!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Safety



 Spot the vole

 White Lion Meadow

Water vole droppings. They're too small for rat, and also they're rounded at the end, not pointed.

It makes sense, when you're as prone to predation as the water vole, to eat with your backside half inside a burrow.

Meanwhile the droppings at White Lion meadow car park show definite water vole presence there. A female sometimes nests under the bank near here, so it could be the same set-up again this year.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

In Happier News: Spring!



 The colony off Edgeley Road is really getting going.

 Mystery bird - probably a lesser redpoll but possibly a linnet?

 Blackcap (male)

 Bramblings

 Otter spraint under the bridge at Quoisley


Frogs spawning in our pond.

This last six weeks we have had three new species of bird in the garden (see above); this is on top of the usual greenfinches, goldfinches, siskins, blue tits, great tits and coal tits, nuthatches,starlings, blackbirds, song thrushes,dunnocks and house sparrows, wood pigeons, jackdaws and crows. It's also been spawn time for the frogs - twenty one clumps of spawn so far - and at night the lawn's been covered in common newts.

Just one familiar face missing from all this spring revelry and that's the hedgehog. The one in the shed's either dead or still hibernating, and I haven't seen the compost heap hog about either. However, this afternoon I did spot what I think is hedgehog scat by the bird bath, so I'm putting the trail camera out tonight along with the usual saucer of peanuts and mealworms.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Weasel Again

 Accusatory stare.


 This is how small weasels are. The hole he is peeping out of is a water vole burrow!


I've now spotted this weasel - or one very like it - three times in six weeks. This is obviously his (her) hunting patch. I must see if I can find out about the impact of weasel predation on water vole colonies.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Out and About



When voles are out on the bank feeding, they usually make sure they're never very far from a burrow.