Friday, 30 September 2011

Tales of the Riverbank

When I pop into the local market town on a Thursday to do a bit of shopping I always stop on a particular bridge over the River Welland to check the wildlife.  I am always amazed at just how much you can spot right in the middle of town. 

Yesterday was no exception I spotted a Water Vole, swimming for all he was worth to reach the bank.  As you probably know wild life preservationists are doing all they can to bring Water Voles back from the brink, so I felt really honoured that I had spotted one - unfortunately I wasn't quick enough with my camera, so I have borrowed this photo from google images
Standing at the very same spot a few weeks ago I got really excited to see a Grass Snake swimming upstream
I wasn't sure what type of snake it was at first, but noticed that it had an orangey-yellow band across its neck.  I was on my own and desperately wanted to share my discovery with somebody, but no one stopped when I said out loud "Oo look at that" so I felt a bit stupid.

The river must be really clean for such creatures to take to the water, in fact by another of the bridges there is a bed of watercress, a plant which definitely likes clean running water.  Except for the odd supermarket trolley that finds its way in there, there are plenty of Mallard, who congregate on the grass outside Sainsbury's and plenty of small Brown Trout that collect in shoals in the same spot as I saw the other creatures.

The level of the river is pretty low at the moment, but in winter I have seen it as a raging torrent carrying all sorts of debris in its wake.  The council have been giving all the Willows a haircut recently so they look a bit strange and bald, but come next spring they will push out plenty of new growth and grace the riverbank once more.


  1. Wow, a water vole, you're so lucky, I've never seen one they're on my list of creatures I would love to see. What a beautiful place? There's a river running through my local town but its very low at the moment, despite the fact we've had a lot of rain.

  2. I couldn't believe my eyes to be honest I thought they were secretive creatures, but there it was, bold as brass.

  3. Good eyesight! I don't think I'd have spotted the grass snake but it's amazing what you see if you just stand still isn't it? All those people rushing past don't know what they're missing!

  4. Dear Lainey, I'll stop and look more carefully when I go shopping on Thursday at M'Harborough. Cheers Janet

  5. Lucky you seeing such wounderful creatures like that! Flighty xx