Monday, 26 June 2017

Milk and Plain Chocolate Voles

Adult voles (right) have lighter fur than babies (left).

Some key features of voles and their habitat.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Another Survey Day

Sloughed-off skin of a female adder

Broken half of a lapwing egg


A water vole survey today on the Moss turned up no actual water voles, but we did see lots of sundews, an adder skin, a Large Skipper butterfly, a Tiger Moth and a water scorpion. The voles pictured above are from Edgeley Road.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Busy Time

I'm seeing lots and lots of voles at the moment. Breeding's supposed to peak in May and then again towards September, so I expect these babies I'm seeing are the result of that first peak. In the two bottom photos, the adult's been grooming and spreading musk from the glands on her flanks, which is why the fur there's disturbed.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Mum and Baby

Mum feeding.

Baby feeding (note the darker fur).

Mum and baby together.

Astonishing that not one but two water voles would come up and feed right at my feet. This happens maybe once every couple of years, that you get a particularly bold individual, and in this case her presence is probably encouraging one of her offspring to join in. The population at Edgeley Road seems to be strong this year, and numbers help confidence.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017


Always a joy to see families interacting. Adult voles are fiercely territorial and will see one another off, but here were two voles feeding happily near each other, the one on the right a juvenile and the one on the left fully-grown. In the fourth picture down, you can see how much darker the juv's coat is - I wonder whether this is to help them blend in better against the muddy bank and so increase their survival rate? Anyway, I suspect the large vole is the smaller one's mother. There are quite a few babies about at the moment,

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Whitchurch Water Voles on tv

You can watch the three-minute clip here: BBC Midlands Today clip

Hello to BBC Midlands Today!

Here's that battle with an apple.

 Possibly the roundest vole I've ever seen.

 Digging furiously. Water voles dig with their paws or their teeth.

If anyone's checking out the blog for the first time, then hello! About a Brook is a public record of water vole activity around Whitchurch which council planners, developers and landowners can use to check the 'vole-quotient' of various sites. It's also a resource bank of images about water voles - latrines and droppings, burrows, paw prints and feeding signs, to help you find voles of your own.

If you know of water voles near you, do always report sightings, as they're a protected species but we cant protect them unless we know they're there.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

BBC Midlands Today

 Helen and David from Midlands Today

Two different baby water voles. The lower pic shows a vole with white hairs on its forehead, something I've seen before.

Water voles making use of a discarded gas canister to start a latrine.

With luck, there'll be a little piece on Whitchurch's water voles on Midlands Today airing next Monday. We had a sighting of a White Lion Meadow vole, looked at some feeding from the banks there, then walked up to Edward German Drive to film burrows and a latrine. Later in the day I saw my first baby vole of the year - two, in fact, of exactly the same size so probably from the same litter.