Friday, 9 December 2011

Praying It Wasn't A Rat

12pm Hurricane gone, sun out, smashing! 1pm, drizzle and a stiff breeze. Oh the joys of british weather. Either that or I should start taking my lunch break an hour earlier. Not a bad thing though in some respects, as I only passed 2 Joggers in the entire hour, definitely a first for the Chav/Dog Walker friendly Anton Lakes.

Still no luck on the Bullfinch front, just the male present today, same tree as last time, a slightly better photo at identifying it, but nothing to write home about.

A few Collared Dove hanging around the paths edge in the trees with remaining berries. And the customary Blue Tits & Great Tits flitting about from side to side, but definitely not in the same kind of numbers as earlier in the week, possible I guess that the extreme winds of the last 2 days have disturbed them some what.

The lakes where unexpectedly quiet also, no Little Grebes or Gadwall today. Even the Swans weren't really keen on the water, both Adults and the 3 Cygnets where next to the path feeding sifting through the reeds and grass.

Mute Swan
If Tuesdays visit brought the sounds of Robins, today brought the sound of the Kingfisher, several high pitched calls before I located the bird landing on the same branch as I had Photographed last week. Again I crept into a fairly decent position opposite the branch, but distracted myself to turn around as I heard a hissing Swan, just to make sure I wasn't in for some broken arm treatment, turning back slowly, now confident of my safety to find the Kingfisher had flown another 20 ft upstream, partially hidden by the wispy branches. Photo opportunity gone! Not disturbed by me I decided to stick it out, plenty of time left to get back to the car. I waited around 20 minutes the Bird frequently flying (and calling) up and down stream past my position 2 or 3 times, just never stopping in a clear enough spot.

Distant Kingfisher
I guess the events that happened next could be classed as pretty special, Kingfisher perched in the tree, Water Vole emerging directly underneath said tree. I must admit I got pretty excited, having never seen a Water Vole other than on TV, I started snapping away, praying it wasn't actually a Rat. Great to see one on that particular stream. I did try to get the Kingfisher in the shot as well but a blue blur through the trees isn't really clear enough.

Water Vole
The rest of the walk around the Lakes proved pretty uneventful, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Robin, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Wren, Buzzard & Magpie the only other sightings.



  1. Good to see the Water Vole martin :-)

  2. Fantastic to see water vole - I'm not sure if we get them in Ireland?!

  3. Im glad you both agree, I know its not the most desirable of Mammals but certainly brightened up my day.