Saturday, 7 September 2019

Water Voles

 

Over the earlier part of this year our maintenance team were doing some essential work on our water vole island display, trying to rectify the many leaks it had developed over the years. While this work was being carried our we moved a small group of water voles into our grass snake enclosure for people still to see (having taken the rarely seen grass snakes out first).

They were a nice little display in there, but long term it was never suitable, our main island display is nearly four times the size, and so as soon as it was ready we moved them back to their home! For those who have never visited, or can't remember, our water vole display is a large raised enclosure so that photographers can get eye level with them when on the land and almost eye level when in the water. It has a large island, surrounded by water, with two smaller feeding platform islands for them to get to to feed... Having said that, most of the food they take will be naturally on the island and we just supplement with rabbit food, fruit and veg.

This display has worked well for us in the past, and the voles seem to enjoy it. Over the last few weeks they have been back they have been very active, chasing each other over the island, jumping in and out of the water, and swimming around the moat.

Here are a few photos from the last couple of weeks.




































Monday, 1 July 2019

Yellow Neck Mice


I spent a little time in our hedgerow the other morning, before we were open to the public, and was hoping to get some photographs of our field voles... the problem was the time of day and bad reflections on the glass. It made it very difficult, so I decided to move on to our yellow neck mice and wood mice in the more shaded part of the hedgerow, and where the reflections were more manageable.

These two mice are vey difficult to tell apart just by looking at them, the yellow necked mice do tend to be a little bigger, but from a visual point of view the big difference is their yellow band across the neck... hence their name. I was hoping to get a photograph of both types showing their neck, but only kind of managed with the yellow necked. In fact only one of the photos below is of a wood mouse.



















This is the wood mouse. You may be able to see a couple of slight differences, but really it is the size and neck... neither of which you can see from this photo... which shows you it is a wood mouse rather than a yellow neck mouse.



And a couple of field voles that stopped for a second to see what was going on. I will have to try again at a different time of day with these.



Thanks for looking :-)

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Pine Martens


Our pine martens have been getting a little more active over the beginning of the year as Spring arrives, and Summer nears. Our old pair Bonnie and Clyde are a little less active, but younger pair Drogo (above) and Daenerys (below) have been brilliant.

Drogo is much more acitve in the afternoons, and great fun around feeding time. Daeny is usually out and about all day, and often spends the morning sleeping on the top of here main tree... very easy still for people to see her.

It was only the other day I was looking through some of my photos of pine martens, and realised I didn't have too many of Daeny and Drogo, so spent a bit of time with the pair of them one evening. Hopefully get a few more over the summer when the foliage is back out in colour in their enclosures.



Below are a few more of the two of them...























Thanks for looking :-)