Rattus norvegicus

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Admiring the ducks and their ducklings I saw what I thought was unmentionable floating in the ornamental lake at St Annes.  Yuk!  But hang on, it was moving pretty swiftly for a number two.

Brown rat

Taking a swim

It’s the first brown rat I’ve seen taking a leisurely daytime swim.  He dived underwater, popped up, clambered onto the rocks, kindly posed for a pic, then off he swam!

Brown rat

Taking a breather

 

Brown rat

Back for another swim

These little guys get a lot of bad press, reviled for their association with disease.  In reality, they do their bit for mankind thriving on refuse and discarded food.  Living off the wastefulness of modern society.

Happy to have seen a Rattus norvegicus, couldn’t help but sing “Hanging Around” on the way home.  Now where is that Strangler’s album?

 

 

 

Nooks and crannies

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Cool wind blowing, but nice enough for a walk along the beach by Fairhaven Lake.

Reed buntings in full song; wheatears flitting in and out of the dunes; lots of unidentifiable little brown speckly birds, egrets, herons, swifts and swallows.  Hopeless snapshots though, as all potential subjects move too fast!

Colourful plant life in the dunes becomes the snapshot project of the day.  Plants don’t move about quite as quickly as bird life, unless there’s a vigorous sea breeze blowing.

Nooks and Crannies

I know this one – Thrift

It’s amazing how many tiny plants thrive in the nooks and crannies of the concrete sea defences.  But, for me, like those brown speckly birds,  wildflowers are impossible to identify, even with the help of my Collins Complete British Wildlife Photoguide.  Navelwort, Biting Stonecrop, Common Bird’s-Foot-Trefoil, Mouse-Ear Hawkweed – a flower-fest of wonderful names.

 

Nooks and Crannies

Purple Saxifrage?

 

 

Whatever they are, they look lovely!

 

Ringed plover, Dunlin, Tree sparrow

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I admire professional wildlife photographers
Every feather, every whisker pin sharp
My efforts are snapshots
Merely snapping a shot
Hoping it will be recognisable
I’m happy with today’s subjects!

Ribble estuary

Ringed plovers and dunlin

 

Ribble estuary

Dunlin & interloper

 

 

Fairhaven sand dunes

Tree sparrow

The one’s that didn’t materialise – a wheatear, a little brown mottled thing I couldn’t identify, linnets too far away and too fast to capture, and the scratchy tones of, possibly, a whitethroat skulking in the shrubbery that refused to show itself.  Another time maybe?

The other great find was this –  to add to my collection of beach treasures. It didn’t flinch an inch!

Beach treasure

Not wildlife. Just wild!

 

Hedeghog alert – St Annes

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Little silver hedgehog  recently posted great excitement at seeing hedgehog poo! I too have seen evidence in my front garden; the first time in 3 years living in St Annes.

Hedgehogs need a thoroughfare for their night-time foraging. All the gardens are enclosed where I live, so unless neighbours agree to take out another brick in the wall, hedgies are well and truly stumped.

A few weeks back we cut out a hole in the garden gate, created two hedgehog nesting sites, and waited. Last night I was fidgety about next door’s security lights forever going on and off.  As the neighbours were away, I went to investigate, and almost trod on a huge beast of a hedgehog outside the back door. S/He curled up and played dead until I went away. Then s/he went about the usual hedgehog business. Since creating the hole in the gate we suspected hedgehog activity, and now it’s confirmed. Can’t tell you how exciting this is! I’ll lie in wait every evening to attempt a pic for evidence.

Until then, hedgie pics from when we lived in Leicester, where hogs (and foxes) were regular visitors to the garden. We offered our garden as a release site for recuperating hogs. They just bunked off into the wild, never to return. There’s gratitude for you! Since being in St Annes we’ve missed visitations from prickly friends, but so happy that this could be the turning point.

 

Leicester Hedgehog

Wholemeal bread – yum!

 

Leicester Hedgehog

Thirsty work!

 

Leicester Hedgehog

I don’t mind sharing!

Corrie Fisticuffs at Fairhaven

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After a morning’s filming at the Beach Café, the whole kit and kaboodle shifted to the beach by Fairhaven Lake for the afternoon stint.

There’s definitely trouble afoot between Peter, Steve and Nick.

Coronation Street

I’m after you!

 

 

The local Fairhaven Lake residents
are far too busy
for the antics of Coronation Street

Fairhaven Lake

Canada Geese goslings

 

Fairhaven Lake

While the chicks have a rest, I’ve time for a shower

Fiarhaven Lake

Mrs Mallard and ducklings