Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Wednesday - dead things

Well today has been quite eventful one way and another. I'll start with the bad news. I opened the front door this morning to find the little frog (which incidentally, I now think is a toad, or should I say WAS a toad) dead on the door mat, alongside two enormous dollops of hedgehog poo. The thing is though, it's foot had been chewed off, but there were no other teeth marks on it. I have the most awful, awful feeling that I could have killed it. I may have stood on it last night when I went outside to fill up the food dish before I went to bed. The hogs had eaten most of what I'd put out earlier, so I topped it all up again. If I killed it, maybe one of the hogs decided to try it, but being a toad, they taste vile apparently, and would have left it. I feel terrible, no way of being sure of course, but can't think what else would have happened. I buried him in the compost heap. I don't think he would have died by just having his foot chewed, and there were guts coming out of his mouth. Sorry if you are eating.

I decided that as summer arrived today, to make the most of it and go somewhere. Needed some peanuts so decided to head for Cilgerran, Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve for a spot of lunch and a walk with Emma. Went into the Kingfisher hide and sat. Nothing doing. Then suddenly a Heron landed, so I thought I'd get the camera out and just sit. He stood on the bank a while, then went in the water and was looking intently with that stare they have. Then suddenly he plunged, and came out with something, and took it back to the bank. I could see it thrashing about and felt sick, but was still fascinated to see what it was. I thought it was a frog at first, but after zooming in on my photos could see it was a fairly large eel. The Heron kept putting it down, and I thought it was going to let it go, but no, then it would pick it up again and toss it around. The poor bloody thing was writhing and I watched helplessly, desperately wanting to yell at the Heron so it could escape but knew I mustn't. After about 15 minutes, the eel was obviously subdued enough to be eaten, although still not dead, and I watched as the Heron swallowed it down gulp after gulp, and you could see it going down the Heron's neck and still wriggling. OMG I wanted to throw up. By this time two other people had come in the hide and they saw the end of this, but were interested in my photos.

Well I stopped at Cenarth Falls on the way back, which is a great touristy place, and I took lots of photos, but will do the blog later as this is a bad time of day here to try and upload photos - I'll probably do it late tonight or early tomorrow.


Mary said...

Love the heron photos. Lucky you to see him eating lunch!

Pete said...

Herons are fascinating to watch

Karen said...

The heron photos are brilliant, fascinating to watch this even if a bit grisly!