Today I went out into the field naked.
I took Bunty for her walk along a disused railway line at Alnwick and I dared to leave my bins, camera, notebook and even my phone ( with camera for emergencies) in the car. Oh yes, when you are a naturalist, leaving these items behind is akin to naturism. Do so at your peril.
So, we wandered through some excellent untouched scrub and vegetation hearing and glimpsing Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Blackcaps, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. Marsh Orchids and Yellow Rattle grew amongst a profusion of Dog and Field Roses.
But I really reached down for my camera ( and my emergency phone when I realised I didn't take the camera) when, as we strode through some long meadow grass, a Grey Partridge leapt up and did the broken wing distraction thing up ahead. I pulled Bunts close too and froze to the spot. I knew that young Partridges can fly off at a very early age even before their wings are fully developed, so I reasoned that either its chicks were very small or a nest was nearby.
I scanned around at my feet without moving and there she was, only a metre away from me. The female Partridge, huddled nice and comfy in a grassy hollow. As our eyes met she too up and clattered around, leaving below her a dozen or so tiny, day old, fluffy chicks scarcely bigger than conkers. They soon ran off to hide and we left them in peace incase a crow was watching...
What a photo I could have had for you.