Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Vole Talk at Oswestry

If you're Shropshire-based and free tonight - Weds 19th, at 7.30 - and you'd like to hear more about water voles, come along!


WendyB said...

Hope the talk went well and there are now lots of new enthusiasts! I had a good sighting here in Cambridge on Sunday, a small vole - possibly the third individual I've seen this year - eating shoots and having a swim, close to the same end of the 'ditch' as the others. The watercourse is only about 600m long - that's just a guess - it disappears under the roads at either end, but is connected to the main river and some quite large fish get in there sometimes - even a pike once, do hope that was a one-off. A heron sometimes lands in the area too...). There were at least three 'territories' last year - so I was really pleased when someone else came along and said they'd just seen two more w-vs, much further down. Likewise an elderly gentleman passing by on his way back from Sainsburys was SO pleased to hear that there are now w-vs in the area! I acquired a camera on Tuesday, no telephoto I'm afraid, and have only got pics of holes and no voles so far (if I do succeed with the latter it would be like a "Spot the vole" competition anyway). I love the loved-up froggies photo above!!

Kate said...

That just shows how even an insignificant little water course can be a home to voles. Presumably the culverted sections are fairly short to allow the animals to pass under. Do keep records of your sightings and sub,it them to your local wildlife trust and onto the landowners (the council? Sainsburys?). I'm excited for you!

WendyB said...

Yes, I even saw a moorhen pop nonchalantly out of the culverted section on Tuesday! I've looked on maps and can't quite suss where it might resurface and connect to the River Cam. When some drainage was done on the Cam recently, the ditch water levels went down correspondingly - all back to normal now, and the water nice and clear again. The initial vole colonists must have been quite intrepid! The bank that the w-vs burrow into, adjacent to a rather nice woodland margin, and then sports pitches, is college property - I have thus far been hesitant about flagging anything up with them as the University can be a bit iffy on conservation issues (though I think others will have told the gardeners, when asking the college to remove litter from the ditch - e.g. those ubiquitous orange carrier bags..) The side that the vole-watchers stand/sit on is next to a parkland area - it has concrete reinforced banks and is council property (I do watch out for any planning/works notices in the area). Many people walk/cycle past totally unawares. I've looked online and at magazines passed on to me, and the Wildlife Trust state that the Cambridge city vole revival has been quite noticeable in these last 2 years (probably to do with mink eradication I think).