Curiosity 6

Did I really see that?

Has anybody else had a similar experience?

To set the context, to begin at the beginning, so to speak:

Christmas is put away for another year: the return of Sellotaped-up boxes of tinsel, baubles and fake stockings that get on your nerves by playing a tinny version of Frosty the Snowman whenever –and it happens, at least once, every time a visitor appears – are returned to the loft. This necessitates a chair, a screwdriver and a torch as the loft hatch latch is broken.

The Christmas tree, once a wonderful, glossy specimen in its prime has been recycled (credit to South Staffs Council for this well timed service) and the holly sprigs removed on the Twelfth Day, as tradition demands. In some areas, it seems, Christmas trees are actually taken in by local zoos and put into the animal enclosures. They are fragrant, for one thing and liven up the environment at least for a short time. Elephants eat the foliage (having no problems apparently with the spiky leaves) and use the stiffer branches for grooming. I imagine a wonderful scheme where members of the public are granted free admission in this low-season (for zoos) time of year if they bring a Christmas tree to the ticket offices.

I also wonder whether the trees have to be checked for chemicals: some people may have sprayed them with something (I believe hair spray might do the job) to prevent that untidy shedding of needles.

And the New year has begun, with it’s horizons of fireworks, a glass of sherry for me outside the house and warm, damp weather (well removed from the romantic Bing Crosby White Christmas dreams).

I glance across the street after completing this putting away task I notice our resident crows on patrol. From the silver birch out at the back (they keep checking out a nest previously built by magpies) they soar to the front and land on the ridge of the houses opposite. They are animated, hopping up and down the slope, stopping occasionally and pecking at the tiles, of stabbing at something in the guttering.  I believe they may be using their tongues to get at slugs or other minibeasts – or simply moisture – that are beneath the tiles. I have seen green woodpeckers earn meals this way and these crows have demonstrated their intelligence before.

Image result for image crow on roof

But I am surprised when the larger crow dips his beak into the ridge and pulls out appears to be a worm. I have seen thrushes do this often on the back lawn, robins from freshly dug soil (even buzzards on a farmyard muck heap)  and there is that brutal moment when the body of the worm is stretched between the security of its burrow and the beak of the bird: a tug of war, a struggle for life/food competition. The bird invariably wins straightaway or tries several times and eventually succeeds. This same scenario is being played out in front of my eyes – on the topmost point of a house! The bending bird, the catch, the levering of the neck, the worm, if worm it is, stretched, then pulled free.

Now I have no doubt that there is dust up on the roof, soil even (even to give purchase for mosses certainly, and flying critters, climbing minibeasts (snails, woodlice, spiders). But earthworms?

How on earth did the worms get to the roof in the first place?

Or maybe there is a different explanation: any ideas?

Did I really see that?



2 responses to this post.

  1. I tend to think anything is possible when dealing with nature. 🙂


  2. The magpies are always pecking at stuff on our roof. Perhaps the worm was dropped there by a bird? 😉


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