Naturewatch - today I saw....

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby PatsyMFagan » July 3rd, 2018, 6:47 pm

Herbidacious wrote:I found and thus saw a dead black rat in the kitchen just now. NO doubt dispatched by Basil. I feel unclean...


Snap ….. not in the kitchen but in my garden.. Gizzy dog kept going to the same place in the undergrowth … it wasn't black though but grey and an enormous bu$$er … just wondering if it could have been a pregnant female. Seems the laying of bait has worked (well out of the way of Gizzy dog who would gulp anything remotely edible down in one swallow ! :shock: :sprout: )
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » July 3rd, 2018, 7:04 pm

I am feeling a bit squicked, but I am telling myself that a) if I found a dead mouse in the house, I wouldn't assume we were infested; and b) I can't see any droppings; and c) Basil is a good mouser/ratter, as he has just demonstrated. And also I am 99.9% sure it wasn't there this morning. That would have been a worry as they are shut in at night. I have Dettoxed the surfaces though just in case and will clear out of my larder cupboard (long overdue) .. but when OH is here. I really had to steal myself to pick it up (with a trowel!)

I read that black rats are quite unusual these days. Not much of a consolation!

Look away those of a delicate disposition!

596C9B6D-53B6-4E0E-9E7C-65D339CAFCBF.jpg


42275455545_2a864a0c54_z.jpg


Rat, yes?
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » July 3rd, 2018, 7:27 pm

I've hidden my purple sprouting from the butterflies by planting it amongst the sweetcorn ... they'll never find it there ..... will they ... :rolleyes:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » July 3rd, 2018, 7:48 pm

mine's planted among some flowers - but i rather like cabbage whites. i'd rather miss out on a couple of meals than miss out on the butterflies.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby patpoyntz » July 3rd, 2018, 7:52 pm

Oh Herbie, that’s horrible...I have a real phobia about rats and mice...I can hardly bear to look at that photo. I’d have to get someone else to move it, just couldn’t do it myself.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » July 3rd, 2018, 8:28 pm

I found it hard. I wonder if it's race memory! I don't have a problem with mice. It wasn't huge at least.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Badger's mate » July 3rd, 2018, 9:56 pm

When I was doing my A level exams, way back in the last millennium, our cats left a (different) dead rat on the carpet each morning for about a week. It turned out that the water had dried out in the outside loo, they came up out of the bowl (leaving footprints) and found a way from there into the kitchen. :scared:

Several exam days started as follows: Get up, make tea, draw curtains, dispose of rat, eat breakfast , go to school... :D
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby patpoyntz » July 4th, 2018, 7:32 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby PatsyMFagan » July 4th, 2018, 7:43 am

I have an ongoing dispute with my neighbours who insist on throwing bread out, ostensibly for the birds !!! However, I do have a continuous source of water in my garden, so I suppose I am 50% to blame for our constant battle with the bu$$ers … However, it's only me who buys the bait - they are 'my' rats after all as they burrow under the boundary fence and set up residence under an area of decking I have. :( :aww: :rolleyes:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » July 4th, 2018, 7:52 am

Am I the only one on here who has never seen a rat, dead or alive, or a mouse for that fact, other than pet ones? I've seen their poo and footprints in the fat in a roasting tray my mum used to keep in the oven when I was a teenager. Mum swiftly despatched of those while new vegan me berated her under my breath. :lol: But still, never seen a vermin rat or mouse.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » July 4th, 2018, 7:52 am

Well I have heard of rats swimming through pipes and coming out of loos... anyway one dead rat doth not make a plague. I hope.

I have had serial mouse delivery in the past. When a nesting area has been found, I assume. I think if Basil had found it indoors, he’d be obsessing about the location. Interesting he didn’t eat it. With mice, he just leaves the head, guts and tail.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » July 4th, 2018, 8:08 am

Ooh, ooh, ooh! My Sooty once bought home a shrew. The only rodent catcher cat I've had out of five. :luv: Well, I say shrew. I mean part shrew.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby patpoyntz » July 4th, 2018, 2:44 pm

Our cats wouldn’t eat shrews, and I’m sure I read that they taste bitter to cats.
They were good mousers though and left just the nose and whiskers and the gall bladder....same with voles.
A few years ago I went to feed sons small cat while he was away, and found this on the kitchen floor!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby patpoyntz » July 4th, 2018, 2:45 pm

I think it was the neatly detached little ears that upset me!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » July 4th, 2018, 2:58 pm

:scared: Is that a rabbit???

Maybe what I saw wasn't a shrew then! It didn't look like any mouse I'd seen before. Funny thing is, I can deal with dead rodents and birds, not sure I'd cope too well with a dead rabbit, but my guts used to turn when my Thomas used to come back in through the cat flap from the rain with worms hanging out of his mouth. :scared:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » July 4th, 2018, 4:01 pm

What is it?

A friend's cat once brought a guinea pig home... :(

My last cat once caught a canary... I imagine it wasn't very street savvy.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Bubbles » July 4th, 2018, 4:34 pm

My cats are both around 7. They often bring in mice, rats, shrews. I didn't know that about the shrews, maybe that's why I sometimes get little bodies left as like Patp. it's usually the gallbladders and maybe other little bits that are left. They have also brought in the remains of rabbits, frogs, birds, a bat? and ...a mole! The mole was dead but intact. :shock:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » July 4th, 2018, 4:44 pm

When mine were little they brought in worms. A little older, frogs. Then mice etc. Then (v rarely), birds.


Next doors’ went through the same stages in the same order.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby patpoyntz » July 4th, 2018, 5:20 pm

TeresaFoodie wrote::scared: Is that a rabbit??? :


Yes, a cute little baby rabbit!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » July 4th, 2018, 6:35 pm

Poor rabbit! Poor canary!

The only thing I ever saw my Noah catch was a starling. Had it by its tail. It was beating its wings like mad and propelling Noah across the garden in front of me. Neither were giving up! He dragged it through the cat flap and I caught him on the other side playing with it. I did manage to rescue it and pop it in a neighbour's front garden but I don't think it would have lasted long.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » July 5th, 2018, 1:03 pm

Sitting here minding my own business, nose stuck in a book, when one of these lands on my bare leg.

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife ... rasshopper

I don't know who jumped higher when it landed, me or the grasshopper! That was a job and a half getting it out! It did not want to be caught! Cor, they've got a serious spring in their step! :lol:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Ratatouille » July 5th, 2018, 2:54 pm

Jules kindly brought Mr R a large lizard this morning. That is absolutely forbidden so lizard was safely removed and returned to safety - it even still had a tail.

Over the last couple of weeks we have been offered aa rabbit, a headless sift, a fledgling sparrow and a small grass snake. All, apart from the swift still alive and kicking.

One summer we had brown rats, the country sort, in the cellar. We tried everything including shutting several cats in there where they just cried their eyes out. The rats got so bold they just sat on the beams and laughed at us. The GCs were here and they kept saying "Granny that naughty big mouse is looking at me" Because it was August the local rat catcher was on holiday so it wasn't until September we got rid, by which time they had nibbled through cables, eaten the labels off half the wine and demolished anything not in a metal container
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby hickybank » July 7th, 2018, 9:39 am

Our friends went on holiday for a couple of days, so we were on Badger watch, its a lousy job but someone has to do it
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Busybee » July 7th, 2018, 11:19 am

What t8me of day/night was this Hicky? It looks relatively light but I thought badgers were nocturnal? Would love to see one.

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby hickybank » July 7th, 2018, 11:24 am

It was 10.15 at night, but I set my camera to over expose the picture to make it how it came out
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Busybee » July 7th, 2018, 11:27 am

hickybank wrote:It was 10.15 at night, but I set my camera to over expose the picture to make it how it came out


Ah, I see...........literally :lol:

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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Ratatouille » July 7th, 2018, 12:26 pm

We had a badger set in the grounds at college and could sign up for badger watching. It was a great way of getting out of halls in the middle of the night :oops: :lol: One did see badgers sometimes!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » July 9th, 2018, 9:20 am

The first time I saw a badger was in daylight, but in some woods (that one had to have a permit to visit so not regularly tramped through by the public and their dogs) in Oxford.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » July 9th, 2018, 5:03 pm

my partner used to bang on about seeing badgers and i used to call them figments (as in of his imagination) until i saw a grey bum waddling in front of me while i was driving home, over the beacon, one night. since then we've seen quite a few - but not the ones who have worn a path through our garden and eaten the apples on their way past nor the ones who've tried to dig a burrow under a (cornish) hedge and in our earth roofed outhouse. there's a big set near us.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » July 12th, 2018, 8:46 am

a shrew
- unfortunately it's indoors and clattering around without a care seeing as the cats have been spending most of the day (and night) out in the garden. i've put the carafe down for it but it seems not to be partial to the peanut butter bait. i hope it's only the one.
they are feisty little b---ers when you pick them up by the scruff of the neck to put them out.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » July 12th, 2018, 8:55 am

Ouch! a nip from a shrew :o
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Badger's mate » July 12th, 2018, 11:38 am

I almost got involved in a water shrew survey once. The technique for monitoring involved putting some maggot chrysalis in a short piece of narrow plastic pipe, as shrews are insectivorous. Maybe dried mealworms would be a better bet than peanut butter.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » July 12th, 2018, 11:42 am

suffolk wrote:Ouch! a nip from a shrew :o


yes, but if you get them high up on the neck they can't wriggle round to get you! - i've done a few now - cooking fats!

Badger's mate wrote:shrews are insectivorous. Maybe dried mealworms would be a better bet than peanut butter.


i know, i did think of going to find some earthworms but the garden needs those, we're vegetarian so no bacon or hotdogs (suggested online) and as it was about eleven at night i used what i had. if it's still around tonight (and a cat hasn't found it first) i'll raid the robin food at the garden tomorrow for some mealworms - the robin doesn't seem to want to eat them, anyway.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby PatsyMFagan » July 12th, 2018, 11:48 am

It's not often you find one of these in your little garden, with only a small water (stream like) feature


a garden 1.jpg
a garden 2.jpg




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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » July 12th, 2018, 12:09 pm

Yes ... we've got at least four in our little pond ... they're getting big so we're watching out for them to metamorphose ... of course, we are in Dragon Country ... we see a lot of these here http://www.norfolknaturesafari.co.uk/No ... onfly.html

:D
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » July 12th, 2018, 12:10 pm

don't know what type other than it's a dragonfly larvae - and pretty close to getting it's wings.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby PatsyMFagan » July 12th, 2018, 12:36 pm

Thanks to daughter who spotted it this morning it is an Exuvia ….that is : In biology, exuviae are the remains of an exoskeleton and related structures that are left after ecdysozoans (including insects, crustaceans and arachnids) have moulted....

And also according to daughter what emerged was a Hawker Dragon Fly .. It sure looks scary and I am wondering what on earth it fed on in my little pseudo stream .. that goes nowhere and needs to be conintually topped up from the hose pipe.. no frogs/tadpoles, perhaps only mosquito larvae ???
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » July 12th, 2018, 3:52 pm

ah - should have seen the patch on the back where it had emerged.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Gruney » July 13th, 2018, 10:37 am

These days, I live in the Midlands - about as far away from the coast as you can be. A few years ago, we started to hear the odd Common Gull cry. Each year they seem to have increased, to the extent that the early morning cries are as loud and numerous as anywhere I've been on the coast.

It's a sound I've always liked.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » July 13th, 2018, 8:06 pm

the little b-----d is still here, devoured the peanut butter, had a sh-- in the carafe and hopped out.
i washed the carafe out, i found that it had eaten a bit of a lindor white chocolate that had somehow slipped the net (deep embarrassment).
i baited the carafe again with mealworms and thought that i may as well put in the rest of the lindor - well, i wasn't going to eat it! i then went off to find some sort of wedge to raise the neck off the ground to make a more difficult angle to climb up glass. i was away about fifteen minutes and when i'd got back the little sod had been in, ignored the mealworms, had another sh-- and run away with the rest of the lindor.
this is war.
the neck of the carafe is now raised a couple of inches, on a long block, baited with a small lump of milk chocolate (might as well give it a bit of variety in its diet) and the mealworms. i know the little bu@@ers can jump but i'm going to watch and quickly right the carafe when it climbs in - mind you it's probably eaten twice it's own bodyweight in chocolate without having to work for it so it's probably having a nap.



the sound of gulls is not a sound you want to hear when you are on the beach for an sls (surf life saving) competition, everyone stops for lunch and a squadron of gulls flies across the bay from st ives and dive bombs you for your sandwiches and at the same time splattering everyone with guano!
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby ShotleyGirl » July 14th, 2018, 9:00 am

We were fortunate to see one of these this morning feeding off our lavender bushes, a first for both of us :luv:

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildl ... -hawkmoths
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby PatsyMFagan » July 14th, 2018, 9:17 am

Lovely ... :tu:
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Ratatouille » July 14th, 2018, 9:19 am

i remember the first time I saw one here where they are common. We were used to seeing real humming birds in the Bahamas and we both honestly thought that was what it was.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » July 14th, 2018, 9:55 am

Hiya Shotleygirl :wave: Good to see you :D

We were in the studio with the 'wall' slid back this morning when I heard a mewing from up above ... I rushed out and there, circling in the sunshine above us were three buzzards!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were there for ages, mewing and riding the thermals ........ absolutely wonderful :luv: We've seen one, sometimes two, over here quite a bit in the past year, and I thought they may be nesting in the old oak woodland down towards the river and marshes .... they seem to have produced a family :luv:

One of my happiest memories is of us laying on the grass at Carn Euny on a glorious day in Cornwall about 6 years ago, watching a buzzard circling over us .... I never dreamt that I'd be watching three of them over my garden on the edge of Norwich :D
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby scullion » July 14th, 2018, 10:14 am

we had buzzards nesting in a tall tree in the field behind us one year - noisy neighbours.
i drove down our lane one day to find it filled with small birds hopping around on the ground - there was a family of buzzards, wheeling around, piping their heads off directly above.
they are a very common sight down here. i have been told of three sightings, by different people, of red kites down here now.

i've seen humming bird hawk moths on a walk near here, too. (and the birds in the caribbean).


the little b----rd decided he needed breakfast, came back and removed the lump of milk chocolate - left the mealworms. i have raised the angle of the carafe even further. i may go back to using peanut butter - it will have to eat it there - and i'm concerned it might develop diabetes at this rate.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Gruney » July 14th, 2018, 11:19 am

scullion wrote:the sound of gulls is not a sound you want to hear when you are on the beach for an sls (surf life saving) competition, everyone stops for lunch and a squadron of gulls flies across the bay from st ives and dive bombs you for your sandwiches and at the same time splattering everyone with guano!


I'm quite certain of that, Scullion - I've been victimised several times - from Cornwall to the Hebrides.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby suffolk » July 15th, 2018, 6:10 pm

Dragonfly metamorphosis 002.JPG


It's obviously the week for them :D

We should find some more 'cos I spotted at least four nymphs in our little wildlife pond.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby TeresaFoodie » July 15th, 2018, 6:27 pm

That is like something out of a horror movie! :terrified: I am a bit squeamish over insects that look like that!

I am still happy to spot the odd red kite fly overhead when I am chained (happily) to the kitchen sink. They are so unmistakeable once you know what to look for. So graceful.
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » July 15th, 2018, 8:01 pm

I didn't see, but did hear a woodpecker... :)
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Re: Naturewatch - today I saw....

Postby Herbidacious » July 16th, 2018, 5:58 pm

Another rat in the kitchen :o
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