Last week we took the opportunity of another sunny evening to go looking for Grey Wagtails and Dippers along our local river. What I hadn’t expected to see was this Brown Rat scurrying into cover, an animal so big that on first impression I mistook it for a Grey Squirrel.
Now I must admit at this point that I’m a bit of a Rat fan and even kept a few as pets in my younger years. Yes no one wants to find them in their own property but out in the open, who could honestly resist that face. I’m willing to bet most of the nearby shopkeepers could and fear that this little chap has a gauntlet to run over the next few weeks. Shame as his athletic ability was second to none judging from the way it clambered amongst the branches of a large shrub.
Back to our original aim and I’m happy to report that we had great views of a single Grey Wagtail just outside the library though unfortunately a decent photograph eluded me. Perhaps I should have stood still and Emma done the running about as no matter where I was you could pretty much guarantee that the Wagtail was right next to her. I had much better luck with this Dipper which was in one of the quieter areas of town and enjoying a good preen away from prying eyes.
I’ve seen no sign of any juvenile Dippers along here this year but that’s not to say there haven’t been any. A multitude of obscured stretches of the river render a thorough search almost impossible, but I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled just in case.