Friday, November 25, 2022

Another Drowned Rat

This is a short post because there's not much news. And once again the culprit is the lack of decent weather in which to get outdoors for serious birding. 

Let’s start with a request to regular readers to take a look at a recent photographic competition. The same readers will know that The Forest of Bowland features occasionally in Another Bird Blog. 

“Hi Phil” 

“Many congratulations, your image 'Redshank' has been shortlisted in the Forest of Bowland photo competition. The prize allocation will be decided by the public and voting will run from Monday 28th November to Monday 12th December, so please feel free to share the web link (from Monday) with friends and family, we will also promote voting via social media.”

Hetty Byrne 
Sustainable Tourism Officer 

Here’s the photo and you know what to do folks. If by any chance I win a prize I’m afraid that Sue has bagged the other place for the weekend trip but if I win a hamper of Bowland Delights I will relate the gustatory sensations. 


Like the rest of the preceding days, Friday morning was wet & windy when I drove to Pilling to drop supplementary seed at our ringing site. 

On the last visit here it looked as thought the regular pair of Stonechats had left. But no, today there they were again near one of their hangouts, a line of fenceposts 50 yards from where I looked. Although they stick like glue to each other it is very difficult if not impossible to get two in the viewfinder at once. It’s inevitable that with Stonechats the more striking males become the centre of attention to someone with a camera. In contrast, the less conspicuous female has a major advantage during the breeding season. 


There was some commotion around the area of the pool with complaining crows and I immediately thought there was a raptor nearby. All I saw was a Grey Heron, a bird that crows don’t much like but one  they will tolerate. 

Grey Heron
As I fed the whoosh net area there came a sudden and heavy shower from grey clouds above. I was in danger of becoming a drowned rat for the umpteenth time this last week or two. I took refuge in the car and wound the window partly down so as to watch another net ride that we scatter with seed. 

After a while the usual species appeared – Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Reed Buntings, a Robin or two and a chattering Wren. And a Brown Rat slinking through the slippery grass towards the new seed - so that’s where much of the seed is going. 

Brown Rat

"Rats are found in nearly all areas of Earth which are inhabited by human beings. The only rat-free continent is Antarctica”. 

And then I saw the reason for the earlier hoo-hah, a Sparrowhawk. It dropped from the trees to ground level and flew along the hedgerow to then swoop up and sit in a tree. Here it became less obvious to the naked eye of any passer by but in a handy spot for a fly by of the feeding station or a dash at passing birds. 


That’s all for now folks. Keep watching the weather forecasts and stay out of the rain. 

Linking this weekend to Eileen's Saturday Blog and Anni in Texas.



eileeninmd said...

Sorry the weather is not cooperating for your birding and banding. Congrats on your photo being the competition, it looks like the 1st prize to me. The Stonechat image is beautiful, love the heron and the Sparrowhawk. I am not a fan of rats, they are creepy. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend.

Shiju Sugunan said...

Rains are playing spoilsport here too. I’ll vote for you. Good luck!

Judy Biggerstaff said...

Nice pics of the birds! Sometimes it's just an honor to be in the competition but I hope you win.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I sure thought the little owls were cute but yours was the best of course! I voted for the Redshank! Well done!

Fun60 said...

Good luck with the competition. You deserve a reward for all the fabulous photos you share with us.

RedPat said...

I hope you win a prize. Love that Stonechat.

Anni said...

You got my vote!! Your photo is a winner.
Ya, it's been rainy & gloomy for 10+ days here. Finally yesterday the clouds broke.

Thanks. You made my day today; sharing your photos and narration with linking in!!

Rhodesia said...

We are also getting a lot of rain but guess we have to make up for the earlier drought!!! Voting done, Cheers Diane

NCSue said...

And yet you still got some lovely shots!
Thanks for sharing at

Veronica Lee said...

Best of luck with the competition.

I voted for the Redshank.

Happy Tuesday, Phil!

Wally Jones said...

Weather. Someone should do something about it.

This won't help with your rain issue, but I read that scientists are working on a project to reduce the harshness of the sun on Earth's atmosphere. What could possibly go wrong?

Nothing like a little old hawk to break up a party! At least you spotted some birds during the outing. Much preferable than being indoors, even if you did get a bit damp.

The reason Antarctica remains rat-free is politicians haven't found a way to make money there - yet.

I was all set to vote for your most excellent photograph but the link you provided sent me to a place with other images to admire. What to do, what to do ......

Rebel HQ was viciously attacked last week by nefarious little terrorists and Gini and I are down but not out. For the record, fun is not spelled f-l-u.

Wishing you clear skies and no wind!

Yvonne said...

I've seen some pretty big rats in my time and some with just two legs :) Seriously, You do have some wonderful photos for a rainy day, although tagging wise I guess it was a flop. We seem to be in the rainy season here, which is welcomed as this summer was a dry one.

Angie said...

Phil - For all the rain, you still came away with some terrific photos, as you always do. I could have done without the rat, though.

Lowcarb team member said...

Many congratulations on your photograph being entered in the competition, I wish you well.

All the best Jan

Related Posts with Thumbnails