Sunday, 31 March 2013

Otters too!

 Banks are getting very vole-scaped

 Vertical vole!

 The state of the stream this month

 Otter spraint!

 Water vole latrines appearing now.

Does my bum look big in this?

Thrilled to see a vole very close today, but also amazed at finding otter spraint on the bank! This field is the most amazing wildlife corridor and habitat.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Exit, Pursued by a Weasel

Last year's weasel, from the same spot



Not only did I have the joy today of getting my first water vole photo of the year, I had one of those catch-your-breath wildlife moments when I saw a weasel chase the vole across the brook. I didn't know whether the vole had got away and assumed probably not, but then ten minutes later up the vole popped again looking none the worse for wear. I don't know how it managed to escape, or what impact weasels have on water vole populations generally. I suspect this particular weasel is one I saw last year in the same spot. The grass around is packed with field voles and there are a lot of rabbits too, so I expect those keep our mustelid friend going most of the time.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Too Cold to Work my Camera

 Loads of fresh burrows appearing.

 Foot print in the middle of the photo above.

 Water vole droppings.

But there's plenty of evidence the voles are about. I just need the weather to warm up!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Normal Service will be Resumed Shortly

I don't want anyone thinking I've lost interest in water vole monitoring or that this blog's running out of steam. The truth is it's simply been too bloomin' cold for me to sit out on the bank of the stream for an hour at a time. I have had one other half-sighting, but I can't be confident it was vole - it could have been water shrew, as all I saw was disturbance and the wake of something swimming. 

However, there are new burrows appearing every time I look, so as soon as the weather warms up, I'll be back with my camera.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

First Definite Sighting of 2013

No photo, but a quick flash of a blunt snout followed by a kicking up of mud in the animal's wake confirms water vole, in the field off Edgeley Road. There's also a fine set of prints under the bridge at Tesco.