I realised a Water Vole was coming to the pond in my wildlife garden at Dungeness, but capturing it on camera proved impossible, so we bought a Bushnell camera trap, and straight away got these images. The Vole has several holes around the pond, I think the pond attracted him because of the vegetation around it and I have a open compost heap with lots of vegetable peelings right next to the pond, although it can attract undesirables such as a Brown Rat a few years ago. I don’t know if many people have any records of Water Voles in their garden.
From Dave Bunney by e-mail.
Archive for April 28th, 2011
Gordon Jarvis found this fly in a Peasmarsh woodland and sent this image to us. It is the tachinid Hemyda vittata, a rather uncommon fly which was first recorded in Britain in the 1950s. Its distribution here is restricted to woodland in a few counties in the south-east, though its range does seem to be expanding in recent years. The larvae in common with all tachinids are parasitoids of other invertebrates, in this case true bugs of the family pentatomidae. This is not without its risks as there is at least one record of a tachinid larva being devoured by the still-living host after emerging from its abdomen!
As numbers of rooosting Whimbrel on the Quarry are very low this year (10 yesterday) a dawn search was made to see if other parts of Harbour Farm were being used, only an additional 16 birds were found roosting with a small group of Curlew on the pools near the barns. It seems unlikely that numbers will go up as peak counts in the past have normally occurred arround this time. Bar-tailed Godwits on the other hand were around in good numbers with 160 feeding along the shore, 70 were on the quarry and several birds were on the Wader Pool. Also this morning a Short-eared Owl gave cracking views along Shore Ridges, 2 Great Skua were heading east offshore and another was lingering at the River Mouth.
Yesterday a Purple Heron was spotted from the viewpoint at Castle Water by Keith Gabriel, he sent the attached record shot below and a great picture of two displaying Common Terns. (Click on read the rest of this entry to see Purple Heron pic).