(November 2000) Nature Notes

Sept. 23rd. I was sorry to have slept through this morning’s earth tremor as I have never felt or heard one. This one, centred just to the east of Warwick and measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale, was felt and heard by several people in the village. It sounded to some like a gust of wind and two people have told me that it caused pheasants to fly up noisily from close to their houses.

Oct. 3rd. Another bird flew against our window today. I went straight out hoping to find it alive but was only in time to see a cat running away with what was probably a great tit, which supports my theory that many of the birds that die in this way are trying to escape from predators. After hearing that there was either a mink or a polecat dead on the road near the site of the Pig and Whistle, I thought I ought to look for myself. It turned out to be a polecat which could be either a domesticated one that had been lost while ferreting or a truly wild one, as they are known. to have recolonised this area over the last few years. I am told that only an expert studying the skull could say whether it was wild or not. As this one was only half a mile from one that was killed on Pitch Hill a few years ago and not much further from one that I saw in the headlights on Sibford Heath it seems likely that they are wild ones.

Oct. 14th. As I was approaching Traitors Ford in the car this afternoon a dipper flew across the road coming under the bridge and flying on downstream only a foot or so above the water. This is the first time I have seen one on the Stour but I was told, some years ago, that a pair nested a few miles downstream.