Thursday, June 07, 2007


(NOT my photo)

Just returned to the office after a ten minute stroll along the lock-side. After getting run over by an eastern-european cyclist (wearing 'trendy' wrap-around shades (which I, cough, politely told him he might consider taking off, as not only am I hard to miss, but it is completely overcast today)), I wandered off down towards Caversham Lock.

On the far side of the Weir stream I spotted a large Common Rat, (Rattus Norvegicus) scampering along the bank, not 2' from the people walking on the towpath on that side of the river. The rat was in full view to these people, but they didn't see it...

The Brown Rat is the most commonly encountered rat species in the UK, (the other species being the Black or Ship Rat).

Population estimates range wildly for the Brown Rat, the lowest being around 8 million in the UK below. I personally think that is a vast under-estimation - christ knows how scientists estimate these populations. The Brown Rat has up to 5 litters each year producing around 40 young each year, if conditions are right...

All we need to know is they are everywhere, and there's pretty well bugger-all we can do about it...!

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