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Magpie attacks rat

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Liz Heard View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 May 2014 at 7:14pm
Hi all,

while leaving a local herp site i chanced upon a Magpie predating a young rat in the road.



At first, the - then unharmed - rodent fought back with vigour, biting the bird and causing it to release before scurrying away. But the corvid was determined and after a few minutes of back and forth across the road 'bird and mouse' antics and repeated peckings, the Magpie eventually flew off with the prize in its bill.
Pleasingly, I got some footage of last moments of the event too! Something for Youtube perhaps.
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2014 at 7:50pm
nice obs Ben; look forward to seeing the Youtube footage!
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Liz Heard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2014 at 4:37pm
thanks Will and good idea (in the 'Combos' thread) for a subtopic. Perhaps a thread of interesting wildlife observations/anecdotes would would make good reading for folks too?

Re the above; just to add, the Magpie showed typical corvid intelligence in attempting to clasp the rat's muzzle wherever possible - thereby disabling it's dental defence.





Despite how it looks, the fleet-footed rat gave the bird a damn good run for its money at first and probably would have escaped had it not had the misfortune of heading into the solid wall on the left of the pic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2014 at 6:22pm
Fascinating observation Ben, amazing you managed to get some images to share too. Thumbs Up
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Suzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2014 at 8:08pm
Re Ben's suggestion of 'interesting wildlife observations', perhaps I could give one. When I went out on the heath one evening the other week I saw a most peculiar thing. I guess it was a polecat ferret - I've not seen one before - it was off-white in colour and had a high arched back. Bigger than a large cat. I half wondered if it was an albino otter! It was working along the edge of a heathland track and kept disappearing into the heather and then reappearing. The wind was in our favour so it was quite easy to see as not far away. I didn't have my camera. It was 8.30pm. I guess someone had been using it on the heath and it had got away. We were a good distance from any houses. Apart from two Dartford Warblers it was all the wildlife we saw!
Suz
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Robert V View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert V Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2014 at 5:28am
 
Great pics Ben...
 
I've got a feeling the Magpie won because it was a baby rat. A good few years ago I was sitting fishing on a river bank and watched a right old ding dong between a Magpie and a full grown rat, and it seemed to last minutes, but the Magpie flew off with the Rat making one last leap at it and splashing into the water - incredible - will stay with me forever, even if up to this point no one believed it!
 
And on of the worst sights I have seen was a group of three Magpies attacking a Jay. Even from a hard nosed point of view you couldn't help but feel sorry for it.
 
Suz, do you know if they still use Ferrets down your way for flushing out Rabbits?
 
R
 
 
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Robert V View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert V Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2014 at 5:36am
And taliking of Rabbits,
 
I now have a bunny nursery in my back garden...why? Because I fixed the chicken wire fence so the adults can jump over (apparently) but the young can't get back out to the fields!
 
And the Little Owl seems to know that, waits all day on the fence post...
 
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RobV
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AGILIS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2014 at 9:15am
Liz Whats all these traffic lights in what looks like a leafy lane keith

Edited by AGILIS - 17 May 2014 at 9:16am
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
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Liz Heard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2014 at 5:39pm
thanks for all the comments and observation tales folks. Wonder what it was Suz?

Gemma, this is why i own a bridge camera - ive always got it in my pocket, at the ready for the unexpected!

Speaking of Jays Rob, and by strange coincidence, a work colleague witnessed an autotomised Slow worm tail being pecked at by a Jay just last week. He didn't have his camera but commented that the Jay didn't quite know what to make of the thrashing limb it was confronted with and responded with caution. Fascinating!
Great Little Owl pic!

Yes it was a dead-end, leafy lane leading to a lake behind the camera Keith, but just above where the wall on the left ends, it joins a busy main road.
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