Benefits of a wet summer

27th June 2012, Wednesday

The natural pits on Dungeness are a range of ancient natural water bodies on the RSPB Reserve, of varying depth.  Pit 6 frequently dries out in the summer, but this year a pair of waders are required to get into the centre and stay dry.  This is where I found signs of water vole – a neat pile of rush stems nibbled at the characterisitic 45° angle and a blunt ended water vole dropping close by on the old tree stump.  In the top photo the dropping is just to the left of the pile of rush stems, near the end of the stump.  This species tends to retreat to deeper water bodies in dry years, but can spread out into temporary water when conditions permit.

water-vole-feeding-signs-and-droppings.jpg

A second feeding site was

 found close by, again on an old stump, and in the photo you can see the remains of some of the plant stems, nibbled at the characteristic 45% angle.

water-vole-2.jpg

Other interesting sightings in these pits were a grass snake and in the two main Open Pits great crested newt eggs.