Sunday, May 24, 2020

The path untrodden...


There isn't anywhere in this jam packed country of ours that can be classed as truly wild, but on a local patch level I am talking about the bits and corners you never visit. All local patches have these and today I had a couple of hours visiting two areas of mine. It comes as no surprise that these spots were in woodland and well sheltered from the now 3 day gale, we have been getting hammered by.

My first stop was to see if I could get the Spotted Flycatchers in better light, but despite having looked 3 times today, they remain unseen. Gone? Maybe.

From here, I was off to the woods.  This hidden area is a quiet relaxed place and the reason I don't go is not because I don't like it, but it is a deliberate way to leave a quiet undisturbed corner that the wildlife can retreat to in safety. It looks a nice spot for a Roe Doe to leave her fawn and I wouldn't want to frighten them if she did. On today's venture I trod carefully on deer walks and did not step into areas of cover just in case.

The smell of damp vegetation and the sound of the wind high in the trees were a constant companion. Bluebells, now fading and past their previous glory, edged the track. 

As expected, this nice little Roe doe saw me coming. I have seen her before and she is not too afraid. When she saw me, I dropped my gaze and slowly turned to put my full back towards her and softly stepped away while remaining in her view. She followed me a short way to watch, inquisitively, then continued her browsing undisturbed...

Roe Doe

Tawny Owl
In the same spot, the agitation of some small birds drew my attention and as I gazed across the small valley a Tawny Owl was sat fully alert high up in a tree opposite, watching me. Although distant I raised the camera and she was off. This is about the best shot I got...for such a common bird here my sightings are scarce so this was a brief treat.

I left the glade and its inhabitants in peace and moved to a second 'woodlot'. This spot I have never been into in 11 yrs, but I see it regularly. Shooters visit here in the winter but it is still totally undisturbed by the public.

As I wove my way through ferns and across a burn, fauna remained hidden. Back out on the main path and I did a slow return home by a more conventional route..

Once back in the village, a Wall Brown flitted fittingly (try saying that after a few sherries) on a stone wall bordering the Old Rectory paddock and in the garden a brood of Tree Sparrows greeted me by peering out of their nestbox. They'll soon be on their way...

A Wall on a wall.

A new generation of Tree Sparrows faces the big bad world...



Dylan Wrathall said...

Nicely written post and a Tawny Owl in daylight, with a flight photo - quite a result? As for Tree Sparrows, they're as common in my garden as Black Kites! Stay safe - Dyl

Stewart said...

Thanks Dylan, yes I dont see many Tawnys but here them all the time. Tree Sparrows are a different proposition being my commonest garden bird. They are ever present.