Friday, 16 May 2014

First Baby of the Year!

I almost wonder whether this is the offspring of the one-eyed female I've been watching.

 More underwater droppings.

Feeding stations at Mossfields (back of Saddler's Walk).


WendyB said...

Gorgeous! And a little smaller than the 'baby' I've seen 3 times now in the past week here in Cambridge. You were right about their fur being noticeably darker than the adults'. The one I see seems quite jumpy and fast-moving as well, both on the bank and when swimming. It's also still much thinner than the chunky adults! Other observers have seen a different baby this week too, further along the ditch.

Also saw an adult further along today, that seemed to have the "itch" quite badly - forever stopping and having a scratch - I've seen this individual scratching a lot before. Its eyes also looked to have less fur around them/a sort of whitish 'ring', and didn't look quite right... but maybe the latter is just old age..?

Several recent instances of lumberjack-type felling of large stems going on too (e.g. cow parsley) with the voles dragging their trophies back down the bank and into their holes. They seem to eat some of it, but maybe some is for nesting?

Kate said...

I've seen that whitish eye you mention in voles round here. I wondered whether it could be a touch of mange, but in the female I followed last year it never seemed to get any worse. All water voles scratch a lot, and some of it's part of the grooming needed to keep their fur in good water-resistant condition. But my guess is that most wild animals carry parasites of some sort.

I know the "lumberjack-felling" style! What a brilliant phrase! We have found some quite large, thick willow twigs as well as bramble stems, and no, it's not always clear what they mean to do with them.

I'm loving your observations!