Sunday, 26 May 2013

Springwatch ?

Monday sees the start of another series of Springwatch on the BBC. For all its faults (let's go over to our Beavers) etc I do have a soft spot for these programmes. Where else do you get to watch live wildlife and original footage of British creatures from the comfort of your own armchair? My only gripe is the fact that it airs in summer, not spring.

I visited the patch today, a glorious sunny morning, and found it had all the sleepiness of early summer. The only new arrivals I could detect were at least four singing Reed Warblers (a new record count) from three localities around the site. One of the two in the reedbed was incorporating some excellent mimicry of a Blackbird alarm call into its song.

Back at the flashes the single Little Ringed Plover shimmered in the heat haze on the furthest flash, and as an homage to Springwatch I recorded the following storyboard:

A cock Pheasant struts innocently into the middle of the field.

Alone at last
Suddenly the Lapwings attack.

Duck !
Lapwing ?
After several minutes of this the Pheasants (it turned out there was also a hen Pheasant hidden in the grass) flew off. A victory to the Lapwings, three pairs of which were defending at least five chicks. Another pair, possibly two, were defending territory on the fallow field behind me.

Back at Netherstead Farm I was hailed by Granny P, who produced her grandchild, Sam (apologies if I have remembered his name wrong). The little lad assured me that he was four years old, his granny having  said he was nearly five, and I was asked to let him look through my scope. Young Sam has been watching birds since he was first handed a pair of binoculars, and evidently loved it. Birds being birds there was absolutely nothing to show him, so I settled for some distant apple blossom and he quickly picked up on how to see an image through a scope by looking down into the lens to avoid just seeing black.

I really hope he does develop an interest in wildlife. Four years old might seem a bit young to start, but that was my age when I got the bug so why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment