Monday, 9 November 2009

Bumper Year for Water Voles?

Possibly a slightly misleading headline, as more recorded sightings doesn't necessarily mean more water voles, but it's still encouraging. The linear nature of canals actually can work against water voles, as mink also like defined linear routes; some of the best habitats for water voles I've come across are ponds and ditches away from the bigger water courses.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Mustelid Action at Quoisley

Old otter spriant

Not sure what this is: it's definitely mustelid, but had no detectable smell so could feasibly be mink.
Here's a busy place! After the comments on my last post, I went to take another look at Quoisley. I don't bother with this area much because I suspect there are now mink around that section of the canal and therefore no water voles: Malcolm Monie and I surveyed several ditches there last summer and drew a blank.
However, the bridge looks as though it's a very ottery spot, judging by the amount of spraint on the kerb under there. That's probably good news for water voles, in that the theory is otters drive away mink. While otters do take the odd vole, they don't go through a whole colony and wipe it out the way a female mink does.