With the arrival of warmer weather, I’ve been treated to some gorgeous views of my local  water voles in recent days. Early spring is an apprehensive time, when I discover how the voles fared over the winter. Though they don’t hibernate, the voles are much less visible in winter and the population will greatly reduce through predation and poorer feeding. This year the high river levels have been an added disturbance. Thankfully the water level is starting to drop, uncovering fresh feeding spots and encouraging plenty of vole activity on the riverbank. Now I can relax and look forward to a spring of wonderful water voles.

Vole16a

Celandine flowers are a favourite early spring food for the voles

Vole16d

The sharp claws and teeth enable the voles to tunnel through the riverbank at 4 metres per hr* ( *I watched a vole dig a 30cm long burrow in under 5 minutes)

Vole16h

Unless crossing to the opposite bank water voles swim along the river edge, where the current is weaker and its easier to escape predators by diving or disappearing into a hole.

Vole16e

Emerging from a secret underwater entrance to the burrow

Vole16c

A water-level entrance.

Vole16f

The distinctive ‘plop’ of a vole disappearing into the water. Leaving behind a freshly deposited latrine – the site where females mark their territories.

Vole16g

Over the next few months I’ll be busy watching the voles and of course the other river residents such as breeding dipper and kingfisher. Introducing them to people from all over the country I’m have visiting water vole experts, a film crew, school groups and public events with the Wildlife Trusts and Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES). If you fancy joining me for some wonderful water vole watching and river wildlife photography, here are dates of my upcoming events. I can also arrange bespoke sessions.

 

2

 likes / 0 Comments
Share this post:

Archives

> <
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec