Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Out at Yockings Gate

 The brook as it passes through Yockings Gate, coming down from Blakemere. 
Lots of vegetation to hide in and eat means happy voles!

Water vole droppings at the timber yard

 Feeding at the timber yard

Edgeley Road vole

I haven't had a clear sighting of a vole at Yockings Gate, but when I was up there last something was hunkered down in the vegetation, chewing a stalk of reed noisily and in a way that made the stalk fall like a tree being felled. That's water vole, for sure.

Similarly, it's been a few weeks since I had a sighting at the timber yard or White Lion Meadow, but there's vole-feeding and -poo about, so I know they're there!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Field Signs - a Round Up


 Single starry pawprint

Above and below, latrines

 Lots of water vole footprints.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Shy Vole

 Shy vole, damselfly (newly-hatched?), and robin-on-the-cusp.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Baby Slow Worm

Slow worm blending beautifully with its surroundings.

 Raft spider: the UK's biggest species of spider.

It was brilliant to get out on a proper, planned survey day with other vole enthusiasts and do some habitat assessment. We looked at a long ditch on Whixall Moss, and found one end full of water vole signs and the other full of field vole. The records were collected and will be stored and shared by the Wildlife Trust, Natural England, and other environmental groups.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Voles of Criftins

 All likely-looking burrows, set within excellent habitat.

I took a look round the Criftins area of Ellesmere, at a ditch a colleague had told me was home to water voles. I didn't see any feeding or latrines, but there were quite a few burrows, and a man walking his dog confirmed there were water voles in the field.

The vole photographed above shows the variation in fur colour that can occur in different lights. I thought initially this was a very dark animal, possibly a baby, then it moved into the sun and the fur turned much paler. It's chewing its way through bramble stems, balancing on one with its hind paw to grip.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Contemplative Voles

Edgeley Road vole

Female chaffinch with a poorly foot

 Small toad, Beeston

At Venus Pool nature reserve

Water vole feeding at the timber yard - they will chew through brambles no problem. Below, perhaps the vole that did the chewing.

 Peak hawthorn.

A vole floats in the water, thinking.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Assorted May Voles

A vole for every day, May 1st - 6th, covering The Timber Yard, White Lion Meadow and Edgeley Road sites.