Monday, December 01, 2008

Gripped off again again

Louise gripped me off today with a smart male Stonechat that led her and the girls to school along the dale. I've not recorded one in the home tetrad. Presumeably the cold and sprinkling of snow had brought this one off the head of the dale (two tetrads away) where I have recorded them.

Also today a spectacular rise in Common Gull numbers at home. Unusually for mid-week I was at home whilst it was still light late afternoon. For the first time in about a year there were significant numbers of Common Gulls heading out of the dale with an estimate of 550 which I suspect was probably on the low side.

Rodent trouble continues with a further Rattus alert this evening. The unseasonally cold weather has perhaps displaced them and they are searching for winter quarters. Fortunately I was working in the kitchen and spotted the cat carrying a long tailed beastie upstairs. Luckily she took it to the laundry basket before dropping it, so it ran behind. Armed with the my trusty broom I summoned reinforcements and Louise surprised herself by taking the front line (having donned her wellies) and ushered the relatively small, teenage type rat into the (rapidly emptied for the task) coal scuttle. Result.

The trap had been sprung this morning but no beast was found within - hopefully this was it. With luck just one to go.


Warren Baker said...

Your rat tales make me laugh. I've got mice in my loft, I put traps baited with chocolate out, the traps are sprung, the choccy has gone, but there is no mouse!

Alastair said...

There is a certain thing about rats that is really, really unpleasant. When I was away in September unbeknown to us one was brought in by the cats and lived behind the fridge for a couple of days before, on my return, horrified, we made the discovery - basically because of the "funny smell". This beastie escaped into the back pantry. Wellies donned - essential rat protection gear - Louise bravely emptied the pantry until finally cornered, the coal scuttle and trusty broom were brought in to play.

A couple of years ago when we had this problem before, Louise failed to wear essential health and safety gear (wellies) and a rat ran over her bare feet during the chase. She screamed, I collapsed laughing and the rat earned a brief reprise before the inevitable conclusion was eventually reached via coal scuttle deployment.