Friday, 26 June 2015

Amazing Performing Voles









The top photo gives a view of the paler pelage, which is useful for voles hiding from underwater predators like pike.

8 comments:

LaPré DelaForge said...

What a wonderful set of pictures!!
Especially the one waving to you.... ;-)

The previous set were good as well...
the shots of Arvicola terrestris bigfootius...
love them.

I have made a start on some bank clearance...
I use a Stihl splitshaft strimmer with a cutter-bar and cut at 3 to 4 inches...
then rake off... the rakings are left at the top of the bank for a week before being removed to allow critters to leave the pile.
I feel that method is far better for the wildlife...
better than smashing away with whirling nylon or steel blades.

On the subject of crillers...
currently in full Glow-worm hunting mode here...
France is having a survey of Vers Luisants...
had to rescue one that was in my pre-leafmould pile...
spotted a very green glow from under the green tarpaulin...
she was a big girl too!
She is safe now, about three foot away, near an old ridge tile she can crawl under for the day...
so far seen eight different ones...
including one mating...
had two suitors... must have had good lights!!

Keep well,
Tim

Ian Doyle said...

Lovely shots Kate. I'm running out of time to see Water Voles as part of my 30DaysWild Challenge. The vegetation is quite thick now on the banks hence it's near impossible to see whats going on.

Kate said...

Oh, I have glow worm envy!

Kate said...

Ian, I put a log on the bank to encourage my voles to venture out from time to time. Once they start using it as a latrine, you just sit and wait and there's a good chance you'll see one.

WendyB said...

To Ian: Look out for twitching vegetation too, often quite marked - and those tell-tale rustling sounds ! I was pleased to spot my first water vole in over 2 weeks yesterday evening, about 6 p.m. and this was what alerted me - it was unusually high up the bank as well, and I did then have to sit and wait quite a while, clutching my binoculars, before it came into view, a lovely plump one.

Sometimes it has been a splosh into the water that has alerted me, or, just a ripple. Other times it's simply a case of sitting opposite their holes, and waiting...... The "latrine log" sounds a great idea too :-)

I think going to look for them later, when the banks are shaded - and certainly not in the heat of the day - may be a good idea as well. Good luck !

Kate said...

Great tips there.

Anonymous said...

P.S. re. the twitching vegetation - sometimes a long and robust stem will wave about quite wildly - set off by a water vole, which may not be immediately visible, gnawing at the base (I always think of this as them being in "lumberjack mode"!) They spend a lot of time just sitting and eating too - and will sometimes drag one of these long cut-off stems back down into a hole.

Ian Doyle said...

Thanks Kate, much appreciated.