A Vole Marooned

Yet another wet day working with the volunteers! In about six and a half years at Blashford Lakes we got rained on only a handful of times, so far it has rained, at least slightly, every day I have been out and on three days almost continuously, today being one of them. We had been waiting for a dry day to get some bramble clumps way out in the middle of South Marsh cut, but after four weeks I decided we had better just get on with it. As we were out there anyway we also spudded some spear thistles and I cut a couple of the small islands in the Deeps. It was whilst trimming the smaller island that I came across a short-tailed vole, the island was so small that I doubt it could have been there for very long, but there was a lot of seeding vegetation so perhaps the food supply was good. I also saw a common toad and yet another knotgrass caterpillar on the same island. I also lowered the sluice pipe out of the Deeps to see if we can get a bit of wet mud in case there are any late passage waders about looking for somewhere to stop off.

All the time we were working there was a steady passage of swallows and house martins flying low tp the east, often coming within a few feet of us. Unlike at the weekend when the passage was mostly of house martins today’s was dominated by swallows, with only about a quarter of the birds house martins. I could not get any counts but there must have been several thousand pass over the marsh during the day.

We took shelter at lunchtime and afterwards, when the rain really started to pour down, went out to round-up some cattle so that they could be taken off the marsh. We got very wet, but things went very smoothly and the cattle were moved to the yard, sorted, loaded and away in under an hour.

I finished the day at Southmoor looking at some felling the power line company want to do along the power lines, yet more wandering about in the rain. Although the work will result in some loss of scrub habitat at least they do now contact us in advance and we get a chance to discuss the work before they launch into it and I think we can manage the area so they will not need to come back and devastate it every four years as they do now.

Surely tomorrow will be a better day, won’t it?

As I have been overwhelmed by literally no queries as to why this is “The 108ft blog” I might have to consider explaining it, but perhaps not tonight………….




4 thoughts on “A Vole Marooned

  1. Was curious about the blog name when it started,then accepted it without a second thought – but now you’ve brought up the subject I really gotta know? Keep the excitement going a bit longer though and build up the suspense!

  2. Sorry you had such a wet day. The members (and of course the wildlife) are very grateful for your work – thank you! Struggling to think of any area of the reserve which measures 108ft, so you will have to enlighten us. Hope to get down for a wander round during half term.

  3. I’ve been wondering about the blog name but thought it might be obvious to others so I might look a bit silly if I asked!

    • The name is not at all obvious, in fact nobody, even at the Wildlife Trust has got why I called it this. I will explain it in a post soon, I can say that it has nothing to do with the World’s largest Buddha, but it does encompass all the sites covered by my remit as East Solent Reserves Officer.

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