Sunday, 29 January 2012

I saw a mouse - where? Not on the stair . . .


Mice - by Rose Fyleman 

I think mice
are rather nice.
Their tails are long,
Their faces small,
They haven't any
Chins at all.

Their ears are pink,
Their teeth are white.
They run around
The house at night.

They nibble things
They shouldn't touch
And no one seems
To like them much.

But I think mice
are nice.

I agree with Rose Fyleman that mice are nice though I prefer them out of the house rather than in it. 

Yesterday Barry was in the conservatory photographing birds and making short videos of them. As I watched the on-going display a movement caught the corner of my eye and there it was – a field mouse. 
We were pleased to see it because rats kill mice and its presence means that there are probably no rats in the vicinity (they’ve all travelled to London to visit Bethan and Robert)

It moved very quickly – speed is of the essence when you’re a tiny being, around 18 centimetres long from tip of nose to end of tail. The hose pipe gives some perspective. We think it was a Yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) but cannot be absolutely sure since it didn’t stand on its hind legs and display its chest. It didn’t stay long for its photo shoot and we were lucky to see it at all as it is largely nocturnal, the prey of owls and cats.

Meanwhile the birds carried on feeding, oblivious to the tiny mammal beneath them dining on the crumbs of fat cast off by their probing beaks. 


Most of the birds wanted to display their nether regions, the newly repainted plumage glowing to attract a mate.

Some, like this starling, with his winter spots giving way to the glorious iridescence of spring finery . . . 
 . . . appeared to spot the little mouse and wonder what it was up to. 
The female blackbird feasted on holly berries while her would-be mate gorged pyracantha.

Coal tit watched warily from the Nectarine – often chased away by blue tits, his chance would come.
 Long-tailed tits swooped and dipped their way to the feeders . . .
. . . and a great spotted woodpecker, fresh from the beauty salon, displayed her scarlet underside but forbore to show her face.

13 comments:

  1. That is a sweet line about mice having no chins at all! Great variety of birds you get in your garden too and good pictures of them. I see quite a few of those at school-though for how long once the rest of the trees go when the building continues. I saw a little gang og blue tits this morning in the garden and managed to get two bad shots!

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  2. I was just prepared to write you an email, I thought you may not feel well or have a cold or something ! Rosie too finds mice nice but for another purpose. I can tell you our house is mouse clean, except from time to time we find a mouse corpse.
    Is this really a sperling on your third picture ? It looks like painted, I have never seen such a blue/turquoise one with white perls ! Just beautiful !!

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  3. Well, what a delightful nature trail of a blog post! And I do so love field mice - Millie made me very familiar with them last year.

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  4. Fabulous photos - I once had a little red mouse in my compost, think it may have been a Harvest Mouse? But we lived nextdoor to a stable yard and the beasties attracted to the yard would have seen any colonies of mice off!

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  5. Oh, cute mouse, and lovely bird photos, Janice. I heard a few bird noises the other day and hoped they weren't the first wave of misguided flyers supposing our mild winter to be spring. It can get mighty cold here in a hurry. Even though it is +10C at the moment, it can be -20 or colder tomorrow. Spring doesn't really come here until May. No one plants anything until the Victoria Day weekend.
    K

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  6. We think mice are nice too. Because of the wheat fields nearby we see some mice in our yard, never in our house. Could it be they don't like cats?

    That starling with the winter spots is gorgeous!

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  7. The starling is beautiful. We have been lucky with mice in this house. We once lived in one where we could not get rid of them until we got a cat.

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  8. Missed your words. Seemed you hadn't posted in a while. I am glad you like MICE because it means there are no RATS.

    I hate spiders, but then I tell myself they kill other insects.

    So I guess it is good to appreciate certain things just because of their position in the food chain.

    Beautiful bird photos, by the way. And the mouse? Well...they are cute, but don't want them in my house! LOL.

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  9. Beautiful bird pictures! Mice, uhm, no!

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  10. Bottoms up! Gorgeous birds. Especially the starlings. Love the little mouse. I'm like you. Don't mind them being outside, but rather not have them in the house.

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  11. What smashing photo's ... and I must admit, I do like a little mouse :o)

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  12. Thank you all for your nice comments:-)

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  13. Really enjoyed your wonderful pictures! Was especially fascinated by the coloring on that starling. Here (in Missouri, USA) they're never so colorful. Even enjoyed the little field mouse...as long it stays in the field!

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