Thursday, March 15, 2012

Water Vole, Goshawk & a Small Tortoiseshell!

A walk in the sunshine at Afton Marsh late this morning turned out to be a good decision. Whilst watching a female Sparrowhawk quartering over the Marsh a large Goshawk suddenly soared into view, dwarfing the Sparrowhawk, even though it was higher up and further away.

But the highlight of my time was this Water Vole - my first decent view of the season. I managed to get a bit of video footage, though there were twigs in front of the lens. There's a fascinating array of sounds in the background as you watch: a screaming Black-headed Gull, Rooks cawing in the rookery directly above, Water Rails squealing, Goldfinches singing, some workmen erecting fenceposts and the Needles' Foghorn!!

Other highlights included a Bank Vole which scampered through this hole to deeper cover when I disturbed it whilst walking past. Note the grass stems that have been grazed:

And this Small Tortoiseshell butterfly...hopefully the harbinger of a good year for this species which has not been as common recently.


  1. Hi Steve, I have just had a most enjoyable catch up with your interesting posts, lovely photos and videos since I last visited. Congratulations on the garden Badger visits and video captures. How lovely to see Water Voles too, I haven't seen one for some years.

    Snap with the Small Tortoiseshell! I saw three, and photographed one, on Sunday. Their numbers do seem to have improved in the last couple of years or so which is lovely.

  2. Isn't it just! :-)

    Love your photos, too, Shy Songbird - I wish I could use my camera with my telescope....but your pics would still put me to shame!

    Best wishes,