We had a crisp white frost this morning. By lunchtime, the ice had thawed but the air was bitterly cold and garden birds were hungry. I made a Bird Pudding from soaked wholemeal bread, currants and sunflower seeds and I stirred in the last crumbs of a Christmas Wensleydale cheese.
The peanut holder and the fat basket were busy all morning, feeding hungry blue tits and long tailed tits. A greater spotted woodpecker and a pair of nuthatches visited, but stayed away when I had time to wait with the camera.
...and a long tailed tit arriving for lunch.
Two shy brown dunnocks waited around on the stems of the old climbing rose.......
....until one of them found seed and scraps on the ground beneath the bird table.
The cats were watching through the window. Suddenly, Lucy`s ears shot forwards and her whiskers began to vibrate. With body tense, she watched something climbing down a thick old rose stem.
Making his way past the fat balls and down towards the bird table was the reason we have recently heard scuffling and small footsteps in the space between the upstairs floorboards.
Mr Samuel Whiskers and his wife, Anna Maria, have come to stay!
The two sleek young rats climbed down and feasted on Bird Pudding. Each time I tried to photograph them , they moved, quick as a flash..... I need a more sophisticated camera with a faster shutter speed, but I don`t need rats in the attic!
Here you can see the plump, thick-coated abdomen of Samuel Whiskers. He and his grey mate are two beautiful young creatures. Their intelligence and their pair bonding behaviour are fascinating to watch. How we are going to move them on to pastures new is another matter. Maybe Lucy and the Ginger Man will take matters into their own paws?
I don`t think that Forest Cat will bother to go outside and help them.......