Two wet days in Wales.

Two wet days in Wales and I made a new friend!

Having spotted an Otter on Thursday I was encouraged so spent Saturday afternoon and most of today, Sunday at the same place hoping for some better views. No luck, it did show for literally two seconds on Saturday. Just surfaced and dived, never to be seen again.

It rained most of the time so I took a couple of rainy shots.

There is not a lot of bird life at this reserve, Mallards and Teal, mostly. I did see some Little Egrets on my first visit but none this weekend. Also on that occasion a Kingfisher did a quick fly past. I did spot one Gadwall, and in the bushes behind the hide I snapped this Goldcrest, I had hoped it might be a Fire crest as its crest was quite Fiery but after cropping the photo to get a close look I could see there was no eye stripe, so it is just a Goldcrest….still nice though.

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There are quite a few Little Grebes and they are quite photogenic so I took a few shots of them when they came close to the hide.

I also had the company of a Rat, not shy at all. Despite being a rat he/she also looked a bit ratty as in disheveled and tatty sort of way.  I took sympathy and gave it a few bits of my lunch… Nan bread with bacon filling,   it seemed fairly happy with it and came quite close, about a foot away at which point I did shuffle my feet noisily to warn it off.  It was all said and done a rat.

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Rodent in Palm tree……????

There are a lot of Palm trees in this area as you might expect and there is one very close to our patio, so in the morning when I am sitting in the sun having a cup of coffee it is there in front of me.

Early on I thought I saw some movement in the centre of the fronds, there are quite a lot of sparrows about and assumed that was what it was. Then I saw it was a little furry animal. To see it a bit closer you can click on the photos.Brown rat1

It was quite quick and never really showed itself, however with carefull observation I first of all determined that it did not have a fluffy tail, it had a long thinnish dark grey tail. Brown rat2

It seemed to have quite a white underneath and not a very pointy nose.Brown rat3

Eventually I got some half reasonable photos of the little chap, it was bigger than a mouse but not quite the size of a full-grown rat.Brown rat4

I was hoping it might be some special Andalucian rarity like a white bellied palm rat or some such.

I looked up stuff on the computer and found there were lots of questions and answers about rodents living in trees in southern Spain, especially Palm trees but also in Almonds and Fig trees. Click this to see one of the detailed replies iberianatureforum.

It turns out that they are just Brown rats (Rattus norvegicus), they are quite happy in trees and will make a nest in the centre of a palm tree and only come down to seek out water or if the supply of palm fruits packs up. Shame really, I was hoping for something more exotic.