Sunday, 4 May 2014

Underwater Latrines?



 Water vole with one eye


 Droppings laid into the water, and below, four pics of the more usual kind of sites for droppings







People who survey for water voles are well used to seeing latrines which have been submerged by flooding, but I've now seen two lots of droppings that I know have been deliberately deposited below the surface. It's not something I've witnessed before, and I wonder whether there's any significance to the behaviour.

In other news, I've been watching this one-eyed vole and pondering on the background there, too. Last year I saw a vole with a badly-cut eye ( http://staggsbrook.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/round-up.html ) and guessed it was because of autumn fighting over territory - I think wounds like this are common. So if the same is true for this one-eyed vole, then the animal may well have survived all winter, which is no mean feat when its peripheral vision is so affected. The vole seems entirely healthy otherwise, and is eating and swimming as normal.

2 comments:

Countryside Tales said...

I've just booked a water vole course for a couple of weeks time. Should be interesting. I will ask about the under water latrines and see what comes back :-)

Kate said...

Ooh, yes,, do. Stress it's not an existing latrine that's been flooded.