Of Moles and Voles

Monday, June 18th 2018

Foxglove seemed to be deserted when I  arrived just after 8.00 this morning, but then there was a tell-tale movement of grass in the opposite direction to the way the rest was being blown by the strong wind, and there was a Mole.  Oblivious to much that was around, he seemed quite happy to be above ground until catching my scent when he quickly made a dive for cover under one of the large logs.

It's not certain what brought him out but we did have a report that two Moles were seen later in the day having a skirmish, so this may have been part of a territorial dispute.  

As we had just about run out of seed in our main Seed Store, the delivery this afternoon was very timely.  Colin does a remarkable job in topping up the feeders each week, so this should keep him going for a while yet!

We are starting a period where we have pupils from local schools here on work placements and one started with us this morning.  After a period clearing some of the cut vegetation in the Scrapes, it was back to the Workshop and a chance encounter. 

Among some of the dumpy bags was this small mammal.  The picture obscures one of the easiest ways of distinguishing between mice and voles as the ears are covered.  The blunt nose and colouring suggest a Field Vole.  Meanwhile on the Mink raft on the Scrapes, droppings show that a Water Vole is a regular visitor here.

A final task and introduction was to meet Lark and Taurus.  Both showed their true Exmoor Pony spirit by keeping their distance, which gave Ian time to take this picture of a Red-tailed Bumblebee worker moving around among the White Clover.

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