The Small Mammal Project: Part 2

I was wrong when I said that DP would be the last vole I would catch for a long time, because that Friday my Longworth trap arrived in the post! I was really eager to put it outside, though I knew that I had to put it in prebait first.
Assembling it and prebaiting it is easier said than done. There are all sorts of wires and sticky-out bits, though within 15 minutes I had prebaited it and I was ready to make it fit for a vole. I put in some bedding, then some of the bird seed which the Bank Voles usually feed on and a carrot.
I put it out by the bird table, where voles usually pass, and covered it with Oak leaves. While I was collecting Oak leaves, I discovered that there were a few Currant Galls on the underside of some leaves, a nice surprise!
When I was done, this is what it looked like:

Longworth Trap

Longworth Trap

The next Saturday evening, I decided to set it properly!  I fiddled with a few more wires and eventually it set, I really couldn’t wait until the morning!

I woke up on Sunday morning at six o’clock, I was so eager to check it. As soon as I could, I raced downstairs and one of the first things I did was check the Longworth Trap. The door was closed!

The Longworth Trap is closed!

The Longworth Trap is closed!

Another surprise happened that morning, just as I was about to check the trap another young Bank Vole ran beneath my legs! I’m starting to feel that the bird feeder is overrun by Voles!

I did eventually check it and I was relieved to find that there was a Vole inside! I had bought a bigger plastic bag so that when I opened the Longworth Trap, I could open it inside the plastic bag. I found a female Bank Vole inside the trap and it looked about 2 months old.




I quickly marked it and measured it, though just as I was checking what gender it was it egested faeces onto Peter’s glove!


I set it again after that and at about three thirty, I saw that the door was shut again. The trap revealed another female Bank Vole, and adult this time, considerably larger than any of the other Bank Voles I have seen. It was very squirmy, though after some time we eventually got it to sit still to take some photographs.

Vole Close up

Vole Close up

I’ve set it again now, and now I’m just waiting for another inquisitive vole to wander inside….


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