My wife called to me from the garden earlier today - from the kitchen window, she'd seen a magpie pecking at the grass out the back. Nothing unusual about that, but it had suddenly jumped back and then turned and flown away, so she'd been out to investigate.
When I went outside, I could see the ground heaving slightly in the middle of our back lawn, so I grabbed the camera and a stool and sat close to it. After around five minutes, the earth broke but the mole didn't seem to emerge.
|the very small molehill|
Then I spotted the grass moving to the side - the back lawn is quite rough and we never keep it cropped too closely, so he had emerged from the side of the molehill and then kept under the grass. I got up and followed the moving grass as he motored along, at quite a pace. At this stage, he never quite broke the surface where we could get a decent picture of him.
|on his journey...|
We followed him further, treading as lightly as we could to avoid vibrating the ground and frightening him off. I went ahead of him and waited, and he came right up to my foot and had a very quick nose at my shoe before making a detour around it.
|a shimmy around my garden slipper...|
|continuing on his way...|
He then arrived at the pavement next to our rabbit runs, and he seemed to take fright at being on solid ground.
|running for cover....|
He was going too fast to get a better picture, and he disappeared behind the sheds at which point we lost track of him. By now, he's probably safely deep underground again.
A very interesting encounter - we'd seen plenty evidence of the moles, but never actually caught sight of one until now....