On Friday, I was mowing the paths round the lake at the back of Ruston House when I saw something that hadn't been there two days before.
Just beside the first fishing stand beyond the bridge, and visible from the tip of the peninsula accessible from the cottages, was this pike's head and a few bone fragments.
I brought the remains back to the house to get a measure so these photos were taken on the decking, not where they were found. As you see, the jaw opening is almost six inches deep from tip of the mouth. That makes it similar in size to the one on display in the Pleasure Boat Inn which was reckoned to weigh some 14lb.
At first I thought this was the first evidence I have seen of the otters that are seen at Ruston Reaches, but talking to others over the weekend I am less sure. I had been told that it is typical for otters to kill a large fish and then leave its carcass on the bank with perhaps nothing more than its heart eaten.
Showing it to others and thinking about it I realise this may not be the case. For a start, where's the main part of the body. Taken by a fox was my best guess, but then I realised all the flesh and soft parts, such as the eyes, are gone, and the skull itself is well mangled. That would appear to make the remains somewhat more than 48 hours old.
So my current theory, suggested by someone who knows birds better than I do, that it was brought to the site by a crow and it didn't come from our lake at all. Can anyone supply a better theory?