Monday, 17 November 2014

A fine fox

Now that 'our' vixen is no longer around, we haven't got to know the current set of foxes individually yet, but this fine, thick-furred specimen is a frequent visitor. It's a male, I think, perhaps one of our friendly vixen's last lot of cubs.

Incidentally, noisy foxes woke me up four times the night before last, screaming and yipping outside the window. I think it's getting near the mating season.

The Magpie and the Rat

Last night, Charlie, our big ginger cat, killed a rat and kindly left it on the kitchen floor for us to find at breakfast time. (Thanks, Charlie. All contributions to the larder are most welcome. Now, would you prefer it fried or fricassee'd?)

My partner threw the stiff rodent into the garden. Twenty minutes or so later, a magpie descended, gave the rat a few mighty stabs with its beak - you'd have thought it was a green woodpecker raiding an ants' nest, the way it attacked it - then hauled it into some long grass. It then started picking up leaves and laying them over the rat, to disguise it and keep it for later, I suppose.

I never knew magpies stockpiled food. I didn't think they would eat a rat corpse. The way it stabbed it makes me wonder if magpies ever stalk and kill live rodents. Has anyone else witnessed this type of magpie behaviour before?