Tuesday 14 August 2012

Now for something stoatally different

I squeezed a quick visit to the patch in this morning before work. Reports of icterine warbler on the Farnes and several pied flycatchers along the coast had my hopes built up.

All I managed was a garden warbler. Always nice to see at Druridge and can be missed some years. There were lots of 'wheeting' willowchaffs and few sedge warblers in the bushes.

As I drove along the road, heading for work, I saw a stoat dragging a big rabbit across the road in front of me. I was quickly out of the car and taking photo's. The stoat didn't seem to mind me, more keen on dragging, the still alive and kicking (and screaming!), rabbit off the road. 

It takes some effort to drag a rabbit that is nearly three times your mass
A woman in a silver car had no time for the stoat, rabbit or me, and zoomed by giving me 'evils' as she passed. The stoat was soon back though, managing to haul the rabbit of the road.

Some cyclists and a dog walker didn't deter the stoat from its mission. (Mr cyclist remarked to Mrs cyclist "did you see the red squirrel" as they sped by). This gave me an opportunity to swap sides for a better view, to photograph the stoat finally coming back to drag it's breakfast, which was now dead,  into the long grass.

Coming back for another go

sneaking up

stealth like

it's mine now!

When the angry woman in the silver car scared the stoat away and the rabbit was still moving but obviously debilitated, I did think about putting it out of it's misery, but I thought better of it, that was the the stoat's job.

There'll be no blog posts this weekend. I'm off to the Birdfair. If you're going, do pop by by and say hi. I'll be on the Birdwatching Northumberland stand in Marquee 1 stands 53/54.

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