Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary: 17 Feb – 27 Jul 1922

As we enter July, Viola is in grounds at Gartinstarry. In this entry she describes a ‘strange’ experience with a rabbit.

This experience does involve Viola shooting a rabbit. We have already mentioned in our previous blog posts that Viola is extremely curious about wildlife and eager to find more about why animals react in certain ways.


This is clear when she notes the reaction of the rabbit after she has fired a shot. The rabbit appears to stand completely still for 30 seconds and then move away. She thinks this is either rabbit ‘freezing’ or due to its curiosity. We’re not entirely sure!



Made up

Feb 17th Playing Fields Q.E.S. 3.30 pm

Larks singing


July 27. Gartinstarry 7.30 p.m.

Had an odd experience with a rabbit which

was sitting listening on the concrete bed of the

pond at the top of the garden which has now

dried up. I fired and am under the impression

that I hit it, at any rate the shot must have

been very close to it, and must have hit the

concrete, and the gun made a loud report

The rabbit however never moved until a train

passed a few seconds (30?) later, when it loped

off quite slowly. This is the second time I

have seen a rabbit do this. Is it curiosity

or “freezing”?