Sunday, 12 June 2011

The best part of the day

Waking early, and noticing that it was sunny, I decided to make the most of it before the rain arrived. Following a clear night, it was still a little chilly, but warming gradually as the sun climbed above the horizon. Fog hung in the river valley as I drove to the local nature reserve, but it was already burning off as I got out of the car.

My route to the lakes, took me through a paddock where a Muntjac Deer was grazing on the luxuriant growth. Close by, a cuckoo called, sticking rigidly to the line from the old poem, "In June, I change my tune" as it double-tapped the first syllable.

Rounding a corner in the track, I startled a Bullfinch which had been feeding on the ground, its departing white rump revealing its identity. An Oystercatcher flew overhead, piping clear notes into the morning sky and a Sedge Warbler staccato'd its jazzy song out across the reeds.

Looking over the lakes, wisps of mist swirled around the sleeping forms of a couple of Mute Swans, a Common Tern swooped and dived for fish, whilst a Little Egret waded in the shallows on a similar task.

After another bend in the track, I noticed a fox cub up ahead, sitting in a sunny spot. It was being harassed by a pair of Magpies and could not enjoy the early morning warmth in peace. Before I could approach any closer, it tired of its tormentors and disappeared through a hedge out of sight.

I crept forwards and took up a position near to the cub's last known location, just in case it changed its mind and was tempted back into the sun. After about ten minutes, the likelihood was becoming more and more remote, but from the other side of the hedge (it was about 20' across and just as high), I could hear the Magpies rasping out their raucous rattling alarm call. Presuming that this indicated that the Fox was still in the vicinity, I pointed my optics at the source of the sound and through the leaves was able to see the occasional flash of white and black plumage and the odd patch of gingery red fur. When the anxious clucking of a Pheasant began, I guessed that the cub wasn't  about to return my way any time soon, so I took my leave and headed home to make Our Lass her breakfast.

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