Saturday 11 March 2006

Wildlife again

frog spawn

you really need to view the original to get a clear idea of just how much frog spawn that is! I thought it was great to have a tyre full of the stuff a few weeks ago, now the whole drainage ditch is full of it. Hope they can hatch and swim away before the water dries up again.

So, on my last trip to the Rupallerie I found a lot of frog eggs, obviously and sadly they were the only things to sit still long enough to get their pictures taken. However, on the first day I managed to brave the roads and get over there (Friday 3rd March) I saw deer. Four of them, roe deer I think, but I'm going to have to get some travelling binoculars and a camera that's faster on the draw to have any chance of confirming my tentative identifications. The deer headed off across the fields and into the forest on the far side from the house. The same day I saw a grey heron, just sitting around in the field looking for frogs. He took off when he saw me but didn't go far and I found him again in the other field on my way home. Beautiful big bird, but no pictures!

I went back on the Saturday and the heron was there again. From the corner of my eye there was a glimpse of the barn owl, disturbed by my approach and flapping off in a disgruntled way to sit high in the trees.

Monday and I had to be there from early because the water man was coming to turn me on (fnarr, fnarr). Actually he didn't, he didn't turn up all day but the early start wasn't wasted as I saw an otter.

I'm sure it was an otter. Of course, he was a distance away, in the corner of the field where the river leaves the land and the wild mespilus lives, eating something and concentrating intently on it. I watched for about five minutes and then decided no one would believe me if I didn't get a picture so I went for the camera. When I got back he had gone - or maybe there was a flash of him for a few seconds in the hedgerow but no photo call.

We have a buzzard, there are lot of birds of prey in Normandy and so this isn't unexpected but nice to have it confirmed that one is living nearby. Other birds, well, there was a flash of blue I thought could have been a kingfisher but after seeing the otter I didn't trust my vision too well. There are plenty of more common birds, blackbirds, sparrows, starlings, bluetits and coaltits but I didn't see a robin at all, even when I was digging. I think that means the place has been abandoned for so long that the robins have gone back to town. They always seem more prevalent in the comforts of gardens than the wilds. Woodpeckers are busy in the forest but so too were the woodcutters and the crash of falling trees was worryingly close. I hope we still have a forest when I go back next.

No comments: