Tuesday 19 May 2020

Tongue, fluff and legs

T'other evening, after being cooped up for most of the day due to bad weather, we wandered out for a stroll. As we rounded a bend in the road, I spotted a Brown Hare in the field margin of the pasture below us. It wasn't too far away, so I fumbled to retrieve my camera from a pocket of my waterproofs and boot it up into movie mode and with full zoom. This took a few seconds and all of my attention, so I was blithely unaware that the hare was still headed towards us. I have no idea what the hare's excuse was, but I raised the camera and my eyes just as it appeared on the other side of the fence from us. The scene must've been comedy gold for anyone watching, as the hare did a U-turn and headed back to where I'd first seen it, whilst I frantically tried to zoom out the camera lens, then equally frantically tried to zoom in again as the hare offski'd. The resulting movie was out of focus and it skewed wildly in all directions, but I was able to salvage this still from it, of a startled creature sticking its tongue out (and it wasn't me). I'm guessing the hare was checking olfactory input, possibly even the lagomorph equivalent of the flehmen response? Perhaps it was wearing the wrong contact lenses.

Down by the shore, the pools in the flooded fields are turning into muddy scrapes, of the sort beloved by waders. Dunlin are still passing through in small flocks, headed to breeding grounds further north.

Just after we had seen the Dunlin, we spotted another Brown Hare, not so close this time, but still somewhat distracted and paying us no heed. It was obviously following a scent trail, so perhaps one of the local lady hares is coming into season again, and driving all the boys wild.

Another evening, another stroll, same route. Another Dunlin!

Take your time with the next photo, It's of a Lapwing. Quite a small one. I've zoomed in and cropped the image to help. Our Lass spotted it and managed to talk me on to it, but every time I blinked I lost it again. Absolutely brilliant camouflage when stationary.

I struggle to approach the local Reed Buntings. They are very camera shy. This male was quite a ways a way, but the light was good and the vegetation behind it added something to the image.

Then, as we walked up the hill, gazing now and again into the wet flushes of some rough pasture, a Redshank came and landed on a fence post beside us. We figured that it might have fledged young nearby too, and was in full attention-seeking mode to deflect our senses away from any thoughts of Redshank chick for tea. As if!



Mark said...

How the hell's bells did OL manage to notice that!!!!

Imperfect and Tense said...

It's pretty much the question I asked at the time. There's an anecdotal theory that blokes are good at spotting moving things, whilst the ladies are excellent at spotting stationary objects because they have much better attention to detail.