Ollie And The Water Vole

Out on Hoe Rough this afternoon, Ollie and I were dodging between some heavy downpours. After a welcome sunny break burst through, I was walking back to the gate when I spotted something at the edge of the path, on the side leading down to the river.

No bigger than a cotton reel, and rolled in a ball, it looked to me to be a vole, possibly a very young one too. A closer inspection revealed a thick tail, indicative of a water vole. They are becoming rare now, and are classed as endangered. I have seen adult ones occasionally though, normally swimming quickly to the security of the reed beds at the edges of the small river.

I felt sad, sure it must be dead, and reached down to touch it to make sure. The damp fur felt like velvet, and its body remained motionless. Ollie ran up behind me and sniffed the tiny animal, showing little interest. Suddenly, it moved. That made me step back, but Ollie lunged forward and grabbed it in his mouth as easily as if it was a furry gobstopper. I shouted at him to leave it, and he dropped it back onto the path, giving me a sheepish glance.

The vole scampered off unhurt, hiding in some long grass nearby. Other than a few seconds in a dog’s mouth, he had escaped being a very small snack.

81 thoughts on “Ollie And The Water Vole

  1. I love water voles, they are so tiny and cute. When I was in Africa, we had a chapter in biology regarding them. It was really sad as they are on the verge of extinction. I am glad Ollie left the baby vole. Give him an extra treat if you can. Say it’s from me. β€βœŒπŸ˜ŠπŸ’–

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeppers!! πŸ˜‚ πŸ€ we had a rat named Templeton when my guys were little. Ironically he choked on a cheese-flavored chip (we’re sure that’s how it happened as my youngest one cried, β€œBut cheese-flavored is still CHEESE and rats like cheese!” It was a traumatic experience since Templeton did enjoy eating a few Pringles at times). Oh the furry creatures that need to stay in their habitats (and safe from us 😏😊).

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    1. It is because of the lockdown, apparently. One of the Nature Trust staff fixed a sign to the gate the other day warning of a much larger amount of animals now using the area, due to the lack of human activity since March. That might explain the badger last week, and now the return of the water voles.
      I am hoping for a giraffe next! πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Not my photo, TP. I didn’t have any cameras, as it was raining hard on and off. I just found this one online, so people would know what a water vole was. The one we saw was tiny compared to this adult one. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a lot more around here that we haven’t come across yet. At the end of our street it is all just countryside. Lots of wildlife to be seen in Norfolk, especially following the lockdown, which has led many animals to venture closer to human habitation. Still hoping to sight otters, stoats or weasels one day. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe the vole was playing dead. I know mice do it in the hopes the predator will leave them alone. Good for Ollie to drop it on command – hope you praised him for it and gave him something a bit nicer than water vole to eat.

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  3. Good of Ollie to drop it. I’m impressed. Yesterday I was walking with a friend, and her Jack Russel attacked an animal which turned out to be a badger. It had an offspring, because we saw a small ball of fur scuttling away. A huge fight ensued, they were rolling around tearing at each other, the dog ignored my friend completely. But, after a few minutes, each scuttled off, totally unhurt. Phew!

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  4. I’ve never heard of a water vole. Looks kind of cute and since it’s endangered I’m especially happy it survived the encounter. We get moles and voles occasionally in our garden but they don’t usually last long and I’m sure you can guess why.

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  5. Never seen a vole around here Pete. And Ollie is such a good doggie to drop it on command. Any dog I’ve ever had would have looked at me – and eaten it!
    πŸ™‚
    Besties on a rainy Florida day.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Pete. Never seen a vole around here! And Ollie is such a good doggie to drop it on command. Any dog I ever had would have looked at me – and eaten it!
    πŸ™‚
    Besties on a rainy Florida day.

    Liked by 2 people

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