I've made the most of the opportunity of some spare time to return to the west side of the Ock - from Drayton road to near the A45
The good news:
1. Not only has the rubbish bangs been cleared away, the biffa container has also been removed. So a thank you to the council (I guess) for removing it.
2. The swifts have returned and can be seen feeding at various parts of the Ock, especially on the floodplain past Tesco.
3. The kingfishers were feeding, but once again evaded my attempts to get even a bad picture of them.
4. Young moorhens can now be seen
5. There is circumstantial evidence to indicate water voles inhabit else where on the ditch (see later post).
6. Water vole sighted swimming across the river, near the footbridge to Mill Road.
The bad news:
1. These pictures were taken at the same place where the water vole video was taken and clearly shows larger footprints leading to or from where the water vole was seen.
I'm not an expert, and can't identify these prints but they could be a fox, mink or maybe just a dog They look to large to be stoat or weasel (although I have previously seen a stoats near the Ock).
From what I recall from a water vole surveyors course, there are over 25 species predate water voles, so there could be many culprits.
Having said that, there do seem to be fresh feeding signs (as seen in the second picture), so maybe all isn't lost.