D-RATS! The garden has gone quiet!

OK there's a good reason why the garden has gone quiet, more on that shortly, but first, the last of the more happier videos.

Falling is always inevitable.... The grey squirrels still haven't quite mastered feeding from the lampshade

https://www.flickr.com/photos/peak-rambler/51610349027/

A flock of house sparrows invade the feeders, and very likely the broods that have grown up in next doors eaves....

https://www.flickr.com/photos/peak-rambler/51612054280/

Now the bit I have been hoping not to see, but amazed its not happened sooner, the unwelcome visitors, rats, one, two, and very likely more. For the first time since the feeders first went up around four years ago, we've seen rat activity. As a result, all the feeders have been removed to reduce the plentiful food supply.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/peak-rambler/51610357317/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/peak-rambler/51612060920/

And now the post feeder removal videos.

Our regular house sparrows looking for the feeders that have had to be removed due to rat activity.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/peak-rambler/51611823989/

A grey squirrel looking for the feeders that have had to be removed due to rat activity.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/peak-rambler/51611391193/

Not what I wanted, but a necessary move. The cameras will continue to record and monitor the rodent activity, and feeder cam has been repositioned to monitor the ground activity at the base of the feeding station. I'm hoping we've nipped the situation in the bud, only time will tell.

Mike

Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Hopefully there is a least a fair amount of natural food around this time of the year and at least nobody is feeding nestlings. How long do you think you will have to leave it?

    Cin J

  • In reply to Germain:

    Germain said:
    Hopefully there is a least a fair amount of natural food around this time of the year and at least nobody is feeding nestlings. How long do you think you will have to leave it?

    I was astonished how quickly the garden went quiet, and that includes ratty and friend(s) (definitely two min, both on the same footage at the same time), so I guess food must be reasonably plentiful. I know the young couple across the road from us have feeders and the house sparrows give that a thrashing.

    There is a garden two doors down the road which is unkempt (so is the exterior of the house), the owner doesn't live there nor does he maintain it, much to the annoyance of his immediate neighbours, and we know that is a rat haven. The council won't get involved, so long as the council tax is paid, so if they're finding food plentiful there, hopefully they'll stay there.

    I've not seen any definite info (seen lots of dubious web stuff), so any info is gratefully received, but I'll still monitor things, and unless advice suggests different, when I feel things are quiet enough, I'll reinstate the feeders. I hope that sentence didn't seem contradictory.....

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • That's not good about the rats Mike but hopefully things will settle down and you will get the feeders back out get some lovely winter feeding shots...Frost already here!!!

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • In reply to Linda257:

    Linda257 said:
    That's not good about the rats Mike but hopefully things will settle down and you will get the feeders back out get some lovely winter feeding shots...Frost already here!!!

    It isn't, but it is nature.

    I'm hoping, and probably naively it will sort it self out fairly quickly.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Oh well, these things occasionally happen, Mike. I seem to remember reading that feeders should be withdrawn for something like three weeks. By then the rats should have gone elsewhere to look for food, or that's the theory. It seemed to work the few times we saw rats in our previous garden. Suppose it was a bit surprising that we only saw them two or three times in over 30 years. The astonishing shock for me was watching one climb a feeder pole and at mid-day (that was before we had half domes on them to prevent access from the ground), but the critter was going up it hand over hand, well, paw over paw actually! No idea they could do that!

    Kind regards, 

    Ann

  • In reply to Gardenbirder:

    Gardenbirder said:
    Oh well, these things occasionally happen, Mike. I seem to remember reading that feeders should be withdrawn for something like three weeks. By then the rats should have gone elsewhere to look for food, or that's the theory. It seemed to work the few times we saw rats in our previous garden. Suppose it was a bit surprising that we only saw them two or three times in over 30 years. The astonishing shock for me was watching one climb a feeder pole and at mid-day (that was before we had half domes on them to prevent access from the ground), but the critter was going up it hand over hand, well, paw over paw actually! No idea they could do that!

    Absolutely, its nature, I'm just pleasantly surprised at how long it was before it happened.

    I'm working on the basis of 3-6 weeks, and its good to know you had success after around three weeks. We've had no sightings since the last video posted, so fingers crossed its been nipped in the bud.

    As for rats acrobatic abilities, not just pipes, check out the two YouTube links, walls as well!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6dnszVt6RU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDcQdmt37EE

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Fascinating films, Mike, but sorry, cannot click a 'like' for you--not me fave critters!

    Kind regards, 

    Ann

  • In reply to Gardenbirder:

    I know what you mean.

    There's still some food on the ground, as this little house mouse is enjoying, but good to see still no further rat activity.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/peak-rambler/51629264567/

    And good to see the two foxes (the dog fox always seems to be the playful one and at the far end of the capture area by the hedge), which I presume are the two youngsters we've enjoyed watching become adults, are still visiting the garden even though the bird seed and nuts they have enjoyed are not quite so prolific.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/peak-rambler/51630942375/

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • A quick update, its been close to three weeks of no further rat activity, which seems to be the common advice. Some suggested six months, and some over a year, but I'll take the chance and with the trailcams monitoring, should any further rat activity be observed it can be nipped in the bud again.

    The feeding station has been moved, not because of ratty, but it was planned before that to try and reduce the squirrel access. Though the squirrel numbers are nice and low, they had been hogging the feeders and the birds have been sitting in the trees or on the fence waiting for the chance to feed.

    The squirrels will endeavour to find a way to access the feeders, even with the lampshade on, so it will give some interesting footage I think, and expect.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Fingers crossed Mike, all goes well...look forward to seeing your happy garden again soon.

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)