11th April: Water Vole

11th April: Water Vole
April 11, 2011 Adrian Walters

Following today’s work programme there was time to check out the water voles in the hope of a sighting. The afternoon was very warm and sunny although a stiff breeze across the Sudbury Common Lands  tempered things a little and as a result it was very unlikely that the grass snake would be out sunning itself.

Armed with binoculars to scan the ditches it was possible to see well ahead. With the binoculars trained along the ditch margins and in particular on a water vole burrow with fresh droppings outside, it was a very exciting moment when a chubby vole shot out of the burrow and diving straight in to the water disappeared from view. The progress of the vole could be followed some distance under the weed before the resulting movement of water ceased.

This summer the opportunities to see water voles will increase enormously as they breed and expand their populations. It is an exciting time and it is great to see them back.