Sunday, 15 March 2015

Still No Voles, but...

I'll be honest, I'm starting to get a bit worried. This time last year I'd had my first water vole sighting, and the banks were full of burrows and prints and the first latrines were appearing. So far this year all I've seen are a couple of possible burrows and maybe a print.

Then again, this time last year I'd had hedgehogs in the garden already for a month, whereas it's only two nights ago they returned to the garden. So I'm hoping it's just down to the cold weather. The hog above is one I marked last year when he was only a juvenile, and it's Y-Boy. He seems a good size and in decent condition post-hibernation.

The sad rodent picture at the bottom is a mystery mammal I found in the bin where I store my bird food. There's at least one other still alive and at large, and they're a golden-orange colour with quite pointed noses, about half the size of a wood mouse. Debate among wildlife friends boils down to whether it's a juvenile bank vole or a harvest mouse. I've kept the body and I'm going to see if I can extract the skull cleanly for proper ID. If it did turn out to be harvest house, that would be astonishing.

1 comment:

WendyB said...

Well, good luck with the mystery rodent ID! Not for the squeamish... Reddish fur and pointy nose suggest harvest mouse, (though the tail may be a bit short?)

My water voles seem to have gone back indoors - it's been pretty cold here in East Anglia too. I have seen a black squirrel on one of the college lawns though - a 'genetic mutation' of the greys, that started further south.