Monday, 17 January 2011

Field Voles 2011

My wood mice gearing up for spring.

Field vole droppings - note tiny scale.

Field vole feeding station.

Prints: could be rat or water vole
At last a break in the rain, so I took a quick peep at White Lion Meadow and the field near Grocontintental. Everywhere's looking pretty sorry for itself: WLM is full of litter and the water level's quite high, but there were these prints just under the bridge and a rat/water-vole size run. Are they rat or vole? I can't decide, but worth keeping an eye on as this is where I saw a w-v nesting last spring.
As for the ditch by Grocontinental there are some likely-looking burrows but nothing obviously w-v as yet. There were field vole latrines and feeding, however, which I post for comparison - f-v signs are a much smallerscale than w-v. (Think N gauge rather than OO, model railway enthusiasts.)

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Season

One of Terry Whittaker's fantastic videos to keep us going till the spring.

Matted reeds forming a protective carpet

Bank full of water vole burrows

Grazing round a burrow entrance

Typical vole-cut leaf
Took a look at my nearest colony today not expecting to see much - ground too hard for footprints, there won't be latrines yet - but actually there was a fair bit of feeding and the burrows are obviously active, open and clear, often with grazing round the entrances. Surrounding the stream is a wide area of matted reed, perfect for hiding voles of all species, and I only had to part a few random stems to find whole networks of runs. It's a critical element of the site for these voles as the stream's so shallow there are no banks to speak of.