Monday, 24 April 2017

Advanced Poo-spotting

Holly Blue

 Treecreeper - there are a pair of these, one often feeding the other.

Below, water vole droppings on mud can be hard to spot!

Spotting water vole droppings is great because they're one of the few field signs that are unambiguous. Rounded at each end, slightly larger than Tic Tacs and odourless, water vole pellets are often deposited as territorial markers. Sometimes voles will choose prominent, impervious surfaces on which to poo, like logs or flat stones or plastic bottles, old car sponges, abandoned polystyrene tiles. Then latrines are easy to spot. But when voles leave their olive/brown droppings on mud - and then trample them - it can be hard to distinguish. Use a zoom lens or binoculars to examine closely any spot where the soil looks a bit lumpy, or where flies are gathering.


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Love the little chap at the end

Kate said...

Sweet, isn't it? I wish there was an easy way to tell males and females apart.

Countryside Tales said...

I always enjoy your vole pictures. I've been down to the river today and despite seeing kingfishers, reed warblers, a reed bunting and hearing a centi's warbler, no sightings of voles! I did find plenty of latrines and some fresh otter spraint. The tree creeper males are feeding the females while they incubate- our pair are doing exactly the same thing here this week. Hope all's well with you- I enjoyed your chapter in Hugh Warwick's book x

Kate said...

Oh, thank you! Sorry you've no actual voles, but poo's good. Ad kingfishers! And Cetti's warblers! Envious. x