Monday, 22 January 2018

Rats can fly!

Well, perhaps not fly but jump much further than I thought.  They can even climb trees! I really didn't know that rats could climb trees until to my astonishment I saw one in our cherry tree, trying to figure out which branch would take it to the prized peanuts, hanging tantalisingly just out of paw's reach (do rats have paws?). In fact, I wouldn't put it past them to fly if it meant reaching their next meal.

And so begins the latest chapter in my mission to keep bird food for the birds that need it (see my first ever blog post Angry. Birds).

I lost the man vs pigeon battle of Bristol, but having impulsively bought this gorgeous ceramic bird feeder, I thought no hefty beast with wings could balance delicately on the narrow edge, leaving the goodies for the flocks of sparrows, finches, great, blue and long-tailed tits to gorge on after the long flight up the Slad Valley.

But no, the pigeons continue their graceless flaps knocking feisty robins out of their orbit, throwing seeds left right, up and down and then feasting on the morsels they've unceremoniously dumped on the grass. 

So at Christmas my feeder frustration was dissipated with this spherical beauty. Ha, nothing but a fleet footed finch could land on this and secure its peanut prize... my pigeon rage relented and there was enough food for all!

Until I saw a rat, 'perched' with its heavy a*** drooping over the side of the ceramic feeder. Now, I know that rats are possibly misunderstood, make good pets and cook a damn good French meal but the only misunderstanding here is on the rats part! 

And so began the fun and games. I tried moving the feeder away from anything that gave it a leg up, but turns out a rat can even balance on and climb lavender, and crawl up the slender stick! I lathered the stick in vaseline to thwart its greasy paws only to see the rat launch itself at least 20 feet (well, maybe a tad less than that), land perfectly on the swaying feeder, and with the core strength of a gymnast, hold steady whilst it tucked in.

The only solution has been to take the feeder out of action, causing the desperate fiend to engage its astonishing tree climbing skills. So far, it's not made it to the hanging feeder but this story isn't over yet...grrrr

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The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.