Bird's Eye View of Bute

The Field Vole

(1) Field Vole
(1) Field Vole
(2) Field Vole
(2) Field Vole
(3) Field Vole
(3) Field Vole
(4) Field Vole
(4) Field Vole

 


The Field Vole. (Short-tailed Vole).


Last month when I was doing walk number 128. (To let you understand when I do a walk, and would like to do it again, I add it to my list of Bute Walks, noting where I started and finished from, with names and other info, then write that into my ‘Walking Folder’, measuring the mileage covered, then give it a number, then when I do that walk again, I only have to consult my folder and mark on my diary the walk number, and mileage covered, so no need to go through the whole process again and again.)


Well this one is from Kingarth Hotel , head to Scalpsie , then to the Greenan Junction, and home via Barone Road. Mileage = 9 Miles. 14,48 Kilometres.
Sarnie and Coffee at pathway to Scalpsie Bay beach, then onwards and upwards. Getting to what used to be Scalpsie Quarry, now a car Park, and across the road is a Viewing Platform, and below that another platform to see the Seals. Well I was entering the platform when I noticed a wee ball of fur on the ground. It was obviously a Mammal, but what species at that time I did not know. It was facing the platform and was tight against the woodwork, and would not budge for me to get a frontal picture. I touched it and it let out a high pitched squeal, and then made for the off . I had gloves in my bag, with no time to put them on as it was heading for the undergrowth, so I caught it, and with another loud squeal, it sunk its teeth into my finger. So here I was , holding a wee furry ball with blood dripping from my finger. I managed to get a couple of shots then put it on the ground, and it then stayed still to let me get a few more then ran off. I am not up to date with identifying these , until I get home ,so I was tickled pink when I at last identified it. It was good to find a live mammal as the last two that I found were dead, with no reason for them to be so.
This was not the only live thing that Had to deal with that day, as at this time of year there are plenty on caterpillars that need a little help. The one mostly in trouble is the small green ones that are to seen in the town and villages, and can be found walking along road and pavements, sometimes at right angles to the pavement , but at other times walking along the way, a recipe for disaster, so I pick them up and deposit them in a safe place which may not be what they are looking for ,but at least they will be alive for a longer period of time. The bigger ones around the countryside prefer to be under cover, so are hard to find.
Their time has come for them to mutate into a Chrysalis, so a dry stane dyke or something similar that has a vertical wall so the they can fix themselves high enough to discourage other beasties that want to eat them. There they will stay till next year when they will emerge as a moth or butterfly.

All in a days Walk.


Norrie Mulholland
First Published in the Buteman. 11-10-2013.

 


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