Big old rodent he was, never seen such a thing before. The body over a foot long, the tail too, huge webbed rear feet. Looks a little like a beaver, but has a round rather than flat tail. We had Eddie on a lead at the time and the chappy obviously had ventured a bit too far from the water and he's not the fastest on his feet. So he just sat there looking at us and we at him wondering who he was. He let me to within 3 feet of him and take this photo without a zoom lens before he slowly moved off towards the river.
Research on the web seemed to suggest he's a coypu or nutria. They are not native to Europe, but have been introduced from South America for their fur. Initially they were farmed, but they never proved very profitable, so they were released into the wild. Now they are regarded as an invasive species threatening much of the native fauna. Their meat on the other hand is lean and low in cholestorol. Now had I known all that, I should have let the dog loose, who was dying to get to him, hence would have done something good for the local environment, get a few good meat meals and a pair of new fur slippers. Well next time we see him we'll find out how good a hunter Eddie is... :)
In other news, the damage on the land hasn't got much worse. The kaki tree (persimmon) is dropping it's colourful leaves onto my favourite deckchair:
The kaki are nearly ripe, looking like bright Christmas baubles
And the river is full to overflowing
Happy days for coypu