|Happy eating - but an unwelcome guest will soon be coming to the party|
THEY say you're never more than six feet from the nearest rat.
Make that up to a dozen rats for anyone who visits the Willow Pool hide at the Potteric Carr nature reserve on the outskirts of Doncaster.
That's how many are regularly to be witnessed as they scuttle hither and thither under the feeders.
Some have even mastered the technique of clambering up the pole supporting the bird table so they can tuck into the daily-replenished supply of edibles.
For some people, alas, it takes the shine off watching the birds, not least the willow tits - an icon species at the reserve,
The brown rats are a potential prey for raptors such as marsh harriers, tawny owls and buzzards, but, in practice, they can take refuge under the hide where many probably breed.
Maybe, the time has come for preventive action from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust which manages the reserve.
There is surely some sort of device which could obstruct rodents from scaling the platform of the bird table.
Not least it would save money on the food which is currently finding its way into stomachs for which it is not intended.
|What's that creeping up the other side of the support?|
|Once reached, the contents of the bird table provide an easy meal for Mr Rat|
|Alas, these great tits can only look on in dismay|
|Likewise this robin - evidently not best pleased to have a rodent companion|
|Please come in and marvel at . . . feeding time with the rats!|
|This moorhen seems unperturbed by two rats in close proximity|