We did the “Big Garden Bird Watch" this morning, it was a little disappointing though. Numbers of individuals and varieties are seriously down this year, with even the blue tit who has spent over a year attacking his reflection in the window not making an appearance. I tried Google for possible explanations and could find reasons for spring numbers being down on the winter ones, summer being down on spring, autumn being down on summer, and even winter being down on autumn - but not why this year is down on last year
In the past, the numbers of sparrows, starlings and goldfinches have been queried when I’ve reported the high numbers of them; this year there was A sparrow, seven starlings and no goldfinches. However, one thing we have never seen in the garden before is a brown rat, and boy, did she go (think it’s a she, in white mice at least there is a significant difference in body shape between the sexes). Fortunately she paid a dozen or so visits so I had a chance to practice. She would leave the shrubs fairly cautiously but, because I couldn’t see her coming I didn’t get any shots on that leg of her trips, there were several of her gathering food and then I could be prepared and wait for her to incontinently turn and run. It was Jnr who spoiled the fun by setting up his camera trap; we didn’t see her again, neither did the trap.
Mrs TD was guilty of speciesism for, although she doesn’t mind the field mice under the shed, she started wondering how to exterminate the rat once she had realised what it was. Myself? I don’t mind – as long as it stays in the garden and doesn’t come into the house.