Poncey, the rabbit and the fox …
(Click images to enlarge)
Sunday May 15th 2011: … find their food on the same pasture.
I heard Poncey’s call as I made my way through the North Pond wood. I eased myself onto the pasture and stood close to a bush, next to the electricity pylon. In the distance, Poncey was standing opposite a rabbit and it looked, for all the world, as if he was having a conversation with the rabbit, which couldn’t possibly be. I have noticed that sometimes he will chase every rabbit from the vicinity and at other times he is not bothered by them.
Poncey is a very alert pheasant and when he smells danger he lowers his head and body and, keeping himself as close as possible to the ground, he runs as fast as his little legs will carry him away from the threat. I watched him do exactly this earlier this evening; one minute he was there and then he had disappeared, only to reappear running like the clappers down to the river. As I watched this happening a fox ran past on my left, stopped 10 metres in front of me and began sniffing and pawing the ground. I don’t think the fox had seen Poncey, or the rabbit; in fact, the rabbit hadn’t moved an inch whilst all this was going on. After a while – yet again – the fox turned and began to run towards my boots, only to come to a dead stop – presumably it realised my boots were not rabbits after all – before doing a right wheel and running off towards the pasture fence. It looks like I will have to camouflage my boots.
Shoals of tadpoles were swimming around the pond, their back legs just beginning to form and I photographed a couple of tawny owls sleeping in a tree.
Oh! I nearly forgot to mention that I counted only two ducklings on the pond this evening, which, I think, confirms my theory that it is not a good thing for a mother and eight ducklings to set-up home on a small pond – the ducklings are easy pickings for the local predators. There was a drake swimming behind the mother; he obviously sensed the opportunity and fancied he was in with a chance.