Saturday, 12 May 2012

Slow-worm attacked by Crow (Cert.18)

In the last week, I've frequently seen a Slow-worm sun-bathing close to the compost bin at the back of the garden. Yesterday I took few pictures of it, as it seemed docile enough to not race away.  Most of the time, our garden slow worms, just sit inside the bin or underneath grass cuttings on the compost heap. Here's a picture of our garden friend.

Today, trying to photograph a Blackcap at the back of the garden, I noticed a Carrion Crow land on the fence and then jump down on the ground to investigate some horse dung. It was close enough for  picture so I kept the camera on it. Something caught the crow's eye close to the garden fence at the base of a clump of Backthorn. The crow lurched to the ground and then threw its head back launching a Slow-worm into the air.

The bird became very excited calling down its mate watching from a tree.


 ..but the Crow is to clever for that, and holds the Slow-worm tight to the ground.

In seconds the Slow-worm is divided into small parts and the two birds eat their prey..

The Carrion Crows seem to be never far from the garden, often disputing a nest site with other birds, high in the Larch in the front garden. The Slow-worms are relatively common too, and if they stay hidden in the compost heap and bin, they should survive the loss of an adult lizard like this.

The last thing to say, is that the lizard caught wasn't the one I had seen in the garden earlier. How do I know? Well, our one had lost its tail - unlike the one the Crow caught, which I can see had an undamaged tail. To see such a lovely and harmless creature killed and eaten at such speed is sad, but I'm sure we will see more Slow-worms in the garden over the summer.

And that's the end of  the tale!

1 comment:

Clare Gillatt said...

I know its only nature but I would have had to scare the Crow off and save the slow worm! Did you happen to see 2 White Storks over Shadoxhurst today?