Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Stoats, stoats & more stoats!

I have a quick wildlife update following last weekends events.
We have a stoat family visiting the garden. Just occasionally things like this make it interesting living here. 

I think I've mentioned seeing a stoat now and again, usually at a distance and on the odd gruesome occasion with a rabbit. A couple of weeks ago I thought I saw a few stoats way in the distance but then I wasn't sure. Well last Friday I spotted a stoat in the back garden doing that mad dancing & leaping thing they do. It looked quite small and the face had white bits on suggesting a juvenile. 
Usually by the time I get to the window with my video camera whatever I'm filming has legged it or been spooked by my appearance at the glass. Fortunately not this time, I got over 5 minutes of filming, it was great. I then went onto stills with the camera and all in all the little stoat was playing in the garden for about half an hour. 

Of course all the pictures are a bit blurry because of the speed these creatures move.

It got better on Saturday teatime as stoat number 1 had brought his little brother or sister into the garden to play. Now the garden is a bit messy and so I guess a good playground for stoats. They were leaping in and out of my vegetable bags, in my tumbled down plastic greenhouse, on the bird bath and anywhere they could crawl into! They had fun looking at their reflections in these shiny ball thingies and they climbed up them and slid down, this is so much fun when I watch the video back.

By Sunday there were 3 rebellious teenager like stoats in the garden, they were having such rough and tumble fights and whizzing about everywhere that I've not managed to get a decent picture with all 3 on. Here are some of my better ones.

Below they are hiding before a good old scrap!

On the edge of the bird bath

In my vegetable bags, they dive in and then leap out and straight into another one!

I'm happy to see the young stoats visiting but I guess once they start hunting they'll disappear back into their mysterious little world and I'll only see a glimpse now & then.

It was quite an interesting few days because I also had a greater spotted woodpecker visit.
I then heard lots of bird warning noises, looked out and saw a buzzard flying over and being mobbed by about 4 pidgeons.

The robins are visiting much less, no Robbie but Ruby still comes maybe once a day and occasionally her new man will show up. Mr & Mrs Chaffinch are probably the most regular visitors now.


greenrabbitdesigns said...

Great post Sally!
I always think it's such a privilege to watch wild animals in action!!
I know I would be highly entertained by all that (just as long as no rabbits are involved).
We have some buzzards here too, I can watch them from my sofa, amazing birds!
I wonder what happened to Robbie?
Vivienne x

Richard said...

I think Robbie was caught in a love triangle and buried under the patio by Ruby and her accomplice!

patty said...

Yes there could indeed be a love triangle, but she looks so sweet and innocent!