Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nature Notes

Spring has certainly sprung here now and today was quite hot. The other day while walking through the park I saw a squirrel run up a tree. He was so confused by the mowers and tree surgeons that he didn’t notice me.

The flock magpies which were at the side of the marsh seem to have disappeared. I noticed that someone had been putting maize down, whether they were feeding them or poisoning them, I don’t know. We haven’t seen any dead birds around and there was a notice on one of the huts by the shore not to leave food for animals or birds (there is a colony of wildcats there too – if they survived the flooding a month or so back). The magpies aren’t so present in the gardens across the road either. It looks as if the jays they chased away last spring have made a comeback.

The most exciting event to report is that when Rob and I were coming home from a walk the other day along the side of the marsh a water rat European Water Vole swam up the stream alongside us for quite a way. We were talking as usual but it didn’t frighten him/her off. I was wondering if it could be a beaver, but a dive into the water showed off a ratty tail

This morning when I opened the kitchen shutters I almost stepped on a toad. He was very still (pretending to be a stone) and stared at me.

Now you must go and see the adorable, furry, bundles of fun that Mary Lou is babysitting at the moment.

11 comments:

lisalisa said...

Its great to see natures tresures.
x

Dru Marland said...

When you mention squirrels, I have to remind myself that you mean red squirrels. Water rats are nice creatures, aren't they? -though I think that the last time I saw any was in 1968 or thereabouts, when I was hiding under a bridge while some walkers went by (I was skinnydipping) and a pair of them swam past me. I prefer to call them voles though, as it sounds somehow nicer.

Anji said...

Lisalisa: especially at this time of the year, after a long winter.

Dru: Yes it was a red one.
I've corrected my post to read European Water Voles. They aren't protected here as they are quite a pest and someone once told me that you can make quite a good pâté from them.

Dru Marland said...

Really? Gosh! They are positively encouraged here;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/naturescalendar/summer/freshwater/dore_golden/dore_golden_valley.shtml

Anji said...

Dru: There is nothing quite like the English countryside, thanks for the link.

Graham said...

Ah, just this evening I was painting th einside of my front porch and noticed a magpie strutting around the lawn. He was feasting on the insect life and probably thought I cut the grass yesterday purely for his benefit. I didn't, it was just very long and overgrown but I'm glad the magpie enjoyed it all the same.
We have slowworms at the top of the garden they love being held. They also feast on the woodlice, which I encourage by leaving the odd rotting branch around. The few moments of peace and solitude.

rtfgvb7812a said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Anji said...

Graham: I'm not keen on magpies but I used to have a slow worm who lived under a big stone by the garage door. I'll have to look and see if it's still there as I've just read that they can live a long time. On sunny days I'm visited by a lizard on the kitchen windowsill.

Anji said...

rftg: I don't talk to robots.......

IWASNTBLOGGEDYESTERDAY said...

A European water vole by any other name..............pmsl

Anji said...

iwasntbloggedyesterday: One man's pest is another man's endagered species! (I think that's preety good, don't you?)