I interrupted a crow pecking a rats eyes out yesterday.
Still in tact. Must have been caught and killed only moments ago.
I lifted it up (on the end of my brolly) and positioned it ontop of a fence post
It was quite neat looking, and for a rat, surprisingly clean and tidy.
It had dapper little white front feet and bigger back feet splayed out either side like fat hands.
And sharp pointy ratty teeth.
Measured from the top of its snout to the tip of its extraordinary long tail it was close to 2 feet in length.
A large brown rat. Some might even say huge. But not unduly alarming. Well, it was dead. I don’t suppose you’d want it scuttling towards you just jumped out of a sewage drain.
The crow would be back in a minute. To rip open the guts.
I was down on the beach at Corbyn Head not expecting much.
But there they were, a little gang of turnstones, doing exactly what it says on their tins: turning stones.
For such a small bird, turnstones certainly punch well above their weight (and size) They’ve been tracked migrating huge distances: more than 16,000 miles from Australia to the Arctic and back again.
And from the evidence of what I was seeing yesterday, their stone turning is almost at the level of an Olympic sport.
Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet
It’s extraordinary how much affinity sparras appear to have for water.
They love playing around, in, and over, the garden pond.
Wannabe water birds them am.
(First bit of vid starts with sparras fighting at the feeders)
Filming: Hazel Brown; Vid: Ian Nisbet
Queens Marsh at Dartington is being (re) created into a biodiverse wetland habitat: attractive for wading birds, fish, dragonflies, bats, maybe even otters.
Unfortunately, its proving to be a bit too attractive to birds that are fast becoming something of a pest in the UK: Canada Geese.
There were 200 or more grazing the grass and pulling plants out of the ponds when I was there yesterday afternoon.
A conservation attempt in the summer to seed several reed beds failed, due to all these marauding, devouring, Canada Geese.
It looked like the
Pests Geese had invaded and totally taken over the Marshes.
Whats to be done? Corralling? Culling? Sending back to Canada?
Filming & Vid: Ian Nisbet
I saw a seal in the swollen river Dart by Totnes weir this afternoon.
Cormorants were feeding (and resting up) too.
Must be rich fish pickings in the water fast torrenting down off the Moors.
I was ‘sealed’ in a bubble for an hour, absorbed in the flow.
Filming & Vid: Ian Nisbet.
There’s been no blackbird in the back garden since August.
Had they abandoned, forsaken, us?
No. This fit young chap suddenly appeared at dawn yesterday.
Haze was overjoyed.
Never has a blackbird been more wanted, more welcome.
A portent perhaps of hopeful things, and happier times, to come.
‘Bless you blackbird’ indeed.
Filming (& crying): Hazel Brown; Vid: Ian Nisbet
Saw something down by Tor Abbey I’ve never seen before: swans giving themselves a good wash and spin.
No Daz or Persil Automatic was required to get their feathers perfectly clean, spotlessly white.
(a few mallards were giving their wings a little spin too)
Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet