Thursday, October 22, 2009

Muskrat Ramble

We went for a walk this morning which, before climbing to more than 700 metres, passed by the village lake, where a couple of days ago I photographed the critter which I then displayed on my blog (by the way, if you click the pic it will enlarge). By this morning, in fact by the afternoon of Tuesday, it had gone (somebody taken it away to identify it, or stuff it - or eat it?)

But what was it? Jackie and Bob Parry, on the Isle of Skye, sent this: "Saw the picture, and have been studying our books on the subject. It is either a Coypu or a Muskrat. Both are about 12" long. However, the Muskrat is now extinct in Britain; but could be established in France. Anyone else come forward with ideas?."

I think they are right. Further research reveals that the muskrat was reintroduced into France in the last century and is now regarded as a pest in some parts. You can read more about that here:

The above picture is of a muskrat swimming in the Marne river. It certainly looks like our little friend in Puivert.

"Muskrat Ramble" was an old record, by the way. Jazz, I think.

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