Showing posts from April, 2017

The Never Ending Circle

The little boy was lifted up, firm grip from large hands on his skinny torso, to a bewildering height. Slightly scared but equally excited he was able then to peer over the rim of the carefully woven collection of grasses and small twigs into a smooth cup of the nest. There shining back at him were four orbs of the most brilliant blue he had ever seen. Eggs; radiant and iridescent, the colour pierced his eyes and bore into his nine year old mind.He wanted to reach out and touch them, to feel these heaven sent jewels that until this moment had never entered his consciousness. But before he could it was over, lowered to the ground and whisked away to trudge in the adult’s footsteps to other parts of the wooded heathland, the details of which never impressed upon his memory and were lost almost as they were formed. The only thing that mattered was those dazzling, sky blue eggs, spotted lightly with deepest black, out of sight and out of reach and all the more tantalising for it. He would…

March Highlights

One advantage of working at a nature reserve is that eventually you will see just about everything that turns up. Even, if like me, you only appear for a morning every fortnight you still have a good chance of connecting with the unusual. So it was a few weeks ago at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen when after a number of abortive attempts the long staying Jack Snipe decided it had toyed with me long enough and gave itself up. It wasn't so obliging as to flaunt itself unashamedly; heaven forbid that one of its kind should make things easy. No, this bird still required a bit of work as it hunkered down amidst a raft of cut vegetation, facing away from onlookers so that the lateral striping on its back looked for all the world like the reeds it surrounded itself with. But with a bit of effort the tiny wader could just be made out and formed a talking point for visitors all day, the challenge: spot the Jack Snipe. Once or twice hunger drove this diminutive visitor from Arctic Russia to venture cl…