Ten minutes ago I was watching the world out the bedroom window, as one does, and saw a splash just in front of me on the opposite side of the bief.
An underwater surge let me know where something was moving and a Water Vole [Arvicola amphibius] Campagnol amphibie or terrestre [I still lump them*] bobbed to the surface in the middle of the clump of Flag Iris. It then paddled fast towards our side.
A minute or two later it swam back across to the iris. At that point another vole leapt from about halfway up the opposite bank and swam furiously at the other, which dived immediately. There was then an underwater chase with 'our' vole eventually seeing the intruder off under the bridge. I was able to watch the whole event quite easily as the water has now returned to a nice clear state.
'Our' vole returned to the bank where we've seen it most often and sat for a couple of minutes looking fixedly toward the bridge, before turning and vanishing up the bank and into the vegetation.
Apart from the entertainment value, it is nice to know now that we have a 'population'.
No pictures... no camera... no time.
I've just glanced toward the bief and seen a vole scamper up the bank... wait, there are voles charging about again... someone is getting mighty upset... splashing through the shallows at the waters edge.
Went to fetch camera now I'm downstairs... cue for all to go quiet again!
And I've got things to do.... can't wait around all morning.
As it is much warmer today... and sunny.... it could be a pair, full of the joys of January?
* We probably get both Arvicola sapidus and A. terrestris in this area and they are pretty impossible to tell apart unless you've a skull to check the dentition against!
The Palm Beach Run - Action Stations!! What could it be that is so important a man in his 50s should feel the need to run in the blazing hot mid-afternoon, mid-summer Australia...