This Rabbit was a sad sight in the car park at the monument. Myxomatosis was first observed in Uruguay in laboratory rabbits in the late 19th century and it was introduced into Australia in 1950 in an attempt to control the rabbit population. Controversially it was introduced to France by the bacteriologist Dr. Paul Armand Delille, following his use of the virus to rid his private estate of rabbits in June 1952. Within four months the virus had spread 50 km. The disease spread throughout Europe. It reached the UK in 1953, being illegally imported onto an estate in West Sussex. By 1955, about 95% of rabbits in the UK were dead. Rabbits suffering in the last stages of the disease are still a common sight in the UK.Myxomatosis is spread by direct contact with an affected animal or by being bitten by fleas or mosquitoes that have fed on an infected rabbit.
On a happier note, the short grass produced by the grazing ponies in the paddock is well used by Green Woodpeckers search the grass for ants.
A peasant surprise in my moth trap today was a fine Convolvulus Hawk-moth.Like the Silver Y's that are very common this year, it is a migrant, often appearing in good years for other migrants.This is the sixth I've had here.The first in 2003 was found dead in the greenhouse, then four were trapped in 2006, an amazing year for migrants, and one in 2009. Five have been in September and the last in 2006 in October.
Tonight Pam was working in her "studio" with the doors open and came to tell me that there were three Badgers and a Fox around on the lawn. As usual the Fox was very nervous (unlike urban foxes) and didn't wait ofr a picture. I made way way slowly on to grass and waited while one of the Badgers sought out the peanuts I'd put out for them.The picture above is full frame and was using a 55mm lens.