A Bank or Field Vole
This little Vole appeared on my drive way, although I knew it was a Vole I couldn’t tell if it was a Bank or Field Vole. We have the right habitat for both and I know from previous bulb planting experiences just what a large Vole population we have! Also we have resident Barn Owls and Tawny Owls and Buzzards who prey on our plentiful supply of Voles.
It is difficult to tell from the photo but I was struck by how short the tail was in proportion to the small, stout body of the Vole. Apparently the Bank Vole has a slightly longer tail than the Field Vole, about half its 9 cm size; where as the Field Vole’s tail measures about a third of its 10 – 13 cm size.
Bank Voles have a rich red-brown fur with a creamy grey underside giving them a distinct two-tone effect. Field Voles have a greyish-brown fur covering most of their body but have a paler grey underside.
The ears are more visible on a Bank Vole but they are still quite small and smaller than those of a mouse. They inhabit woodland, farmland and grassland, and have a diet of fruit, nuts and insects. The Field Vole likes a habitat of grassland, moorland and heathland but can also be found in open woodland. I am still not certain what type of Vole this is, I wish I had known all of the above when I found it. Perhaps someone can help me with a positive identification???