Marlborough (Sunday 30th May 2021)
The first water-vole I ever saw was on 20th June 2014. It was on the River Kennet in Marlborough, and I have looked for them again on every visit since. They were thought to have left the area but over the last year or so there was exciting evidence of their presence, and more recently actual sightings in the Waterfront Gardens and Cooper's Meadow stretches of the Kennet. My only sightings of water-voles since 2014 have been a couple of times on the Wilts and Berks near Wootton Bassett, but they are not thought to be there anymore.
I had been shopping in Waitrose and was walking in sunshine along the path beside the river in Cooper's Meadow when I suddenly saw a water-vole speeding along beside the bank opposite and disappearing. The longest lens I had with me was a 100mm lens, intended for taking shots of plants in the Waterfront Garden, whereas a lady I was talking to had a 750mm full frame lens on her Nikon aimed on the drain hole where I had just seen one disappear, so I walked over the bridge and stood on the path just above the drain hole and trained my camera on the spot, until this water-vole swam up to the spot and stopped immediately below where I was standing while I got some shots. The blip here is fairly heavily cropped nevertheless. I returned after visiting the Garden but the water-vole had hidden itself in the reeds to have its supper.
The water vole population in the U.K. has fallen from its estimated pre-1960 level of around 8 million to 2.3 million in 1990 and to 354,000 (other source: 750,000) in 1998. This represents a 90–95% loss. It is still declining dramatically: the most recent estimate for 2004 is around 220,000. This decline is partly attributed to the American mink, an aggressive predator of the vole, together with unsympathetic farming and watercourse management which destroyed parts of the water vole's habitat.
On 26 February 2008, the U.K. Government announced full legal protection for water voles would be introduced from 6 April 2008. This makes it an offence to disturb, damage or obstruct their breeding places.
The water vole is the U.K.'s fastest declining mammal and efforts are under way to protect it and its habitat from further destruction. One aspect of water vole conservation in the U.K. is focused on non-linear habitats such as reed beds which support extensive networks or metapopulations. Other areas supporting healthy populations of water voles are large conurbations such as Birmingham and London and some upland areas where American mink are scarce. Across the U.K., the Wildlife Trusts and other organisations are undertaking many practical projects to conserve and restore water vole populations. (Wikipedia).
Day 13 -
Budding Irises #1 #2 (Taken with K50/50-200mm)
Day 14 -
Budding Irises #1 #2 (Taken with Nikon P900/24-2000mm)
Friday 4.6.2021 (1040 hr)
Blip #3442 (#3192 + 250 archived blips taken 27.8.1960-18.3.2010)
Consecutive Blip #028
Blips/Extras In 2021 #098/266 + #062/100 Extras
Day #4084 (899 gaps from 26.3.2010)
LOTD #2585 (#2426 + 159 in archived blips)
River Kennet series
Taken with Pentax KS-1 (Blue) and Pentax smc P-D FA Macro 100mm F2.8 WR prime lens
In The Woodland Garden, 30-31 May 2021 (Flickr album of 11 photos)
Marlborough Waterfront Garden, 30 May 2021 (Flickr album of 20 photos)
Woodland Garden (May 2021) (Flickr album of 242 photos)
Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Marianne Faithfull - Full Fathom Five (recorded 1964-1965, IBC Studios, London)
In April 1965 Marianne Faithfull released simultaneously her first two albums. The first was the one her record company wanted, full of pop arrangements, and the second, Come My Way, was the one Marianne Faithfull wanted to make, a folk album, simply accompanied by Jon Mark on guitar, and was the one I went out and bought from Frost's in Sutton Coldfield upon its release.
She was the guest on Cerys Mathew's show on this morning to promote her new spoken word album, She Walks In Beauty, but the interview was prefaced by this early example of her love of Shakespeare and poetry, recorded when she was sixteen or seventeen, and which I had always considered a highlight of the album.
One year ago: