wild observations

A few days ago I was out in the garden after dark, when a creature zoomed past, a metre above my head. The glimpse I caught of it’s flight led the brain to come up with “Huge, obese and – somewhat disfigured – bat!?”

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Earlier tonight, out dogwalking, I watched Luna sprint through a field when the same creature reapeared, gliding straight towards and then above my head in total silence. I’ll take the “obese” back,  the rest as well. It’s an owl, of some size.

A few weeks ago, when it was still light until 11pm, on evening walks through the wood I’d frequently spot a few deer, some suddenly freezing mid-movement no less than twenty metres away. If I saw them, there’s no way the dog has not picked up on them, too. Instead, every time she pretended to be busy doing something and acted like they were not there, “nope, too big, won’t chase, could be scary, you-are-not-there.”

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Rabbits,  there are huge numbers of them all around, are more her match in terms of a good ol’ hunt. Never caught one though, neither any bird, another favourite and generally off-limits target.

Seabirds on the nearby shore are certainly used to dogs as it’s a ‘busy’ local walk. Luna regularly tires herself out running after them along and through the waves. Often I’m not sure whether the fleeing birds are actually completely miffed, or enjoy playing.

For the past few days, severl hundred geese have been resting, feeding and screaming like mad all day down at the seaside. I take it the dog’s alert behaviour around that area is in order not to get too close to the crowd by accident. The prospect of even a fraction of the flock turning nasty understandably makes for a strong enough deterrent.

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To finish off on a strong note: Not only did it take me two encounters to tell a fat bat from an owl, my sense of smell also led me astray recently. Brushing the dogs neck I spotted a few stainings in its fur, which stunk ghastly of dead fish. Shortly after the same smell appeared in the living room, emerging from a small black-ish thing next to the carpet (at least). The immediate forensic investigation identified the victim, a mole, well, half of its carcass. I did not look deeply into the reason why dogs randomly rub against the most minging of stuff. If the one saying “that this is sort of a means of writing a message to the other members of the pack” holds any substance, I’ll happily remain illiterate.

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