Showing posts from March, 2017

Seed Cracker

Pausing on the path, sluggish as an emergent wasp from its winter dormancy, I took stock of the day so far. Reeling Grasshopper Warbler at Cley, Nightingale serenading us at Salthouse Heath, Woodlark and Golden Pheasant, violently contrasting songsters, at Mayday Farm as part of a grand total of about 40 species, mostly heard in darkness or the dim light before sunrise; some dazzled in the headlights of the car. 5.30am on 17th May 1991, Lynford Aboretum, time for our annual 24 hours birding marathon and we were doing alright. But I was cold and keen to warm my sluggish body from the numb of pre-dawn chill. Why on earth was I here? Damp feet, freezing hands, no sleep; images of being curled up in a nice warm bed pervaded my dangerously dozing consciousness. Taking a deep breath of fresh May air fragrant with the scent of pine, I once more scanned the ranks of firs, larches and assorted exoticshrubs and noticed a trio of dumpy looking birds fly into a nearby tree. I raised my binoculars…