Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Whilst sheltering in the park hide from the drizzle on Tuesday 26th, this stoat came bounding into close view. Andy Field had his camera handy to snap these two shots as it surveyed the area alongside the pond.

The stoat then performed the so-called dance as it frolicked in the air, twisting and leaping about as if possessed! Even a couple of magpies came over to investigate the goings-on which only seemed to excite the stoat more as it then tried to leap almost a metre in the air several times trying to catch the magpie in the air! The dance continued for several minutes along a narrow cow-trodden path in the field.

The stoat dance is well known and is supposed to confuse and mesmerize any watching rabbits, so that it can then pounce on them.
This is the first stoat I've seen on the Island for almost 20 years although other folk have seen them since, they are still very scarce here. Weasels are much commoner and more often seen here but are smaller and lack the black tip to the tail.

The spotted flycatcher was still in the area by the pond on Tuesday and Martin Cock also reported seeing the female redstart again on the central track.

A small group of six gadwall were new arrivals on the pond on Tuesday morning while the little egret roost count reached 42 birds. Two swifts flew over the grazing fields several times at the end of the afternoon. Two whimbrel and a greenshank were heard calling in flight as they flew off the mudflats.

This sulphur polypore growing on an old rotten fallen tree brightened up a dark ditch at the park with its bright orange colouring. The different layers of brackets made it a real eyecatching arrangement.

Also called chicken of the woods as the flesh tastes like chicken when cooked.

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