Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Watch it!

The late Chris Mead used to talk about "England's green and sterile land". Well, yes, the fens are rich arable land, endless huge fields of monoculture crops, of very limited interest to wildlife. But despite this bland uniformity, wildlife still manages to make a living in the wild corners the plough can't get to. Today, for instance, I watched a flock of over fifty Chaffinches making the most of a huge muck heap, and they were accompanied by two Bramblings and a few Yellowhammers, Linnets and Reed Buntings. On another drove with gloriously unkempt verges, a huge flock of Goldfinches and Reed Buntings.
Even on the ploughed land, good things can happen. On recently ploughed or harrowed fields, hundreds of Fieldfares strut their stuff, always with an occasional Redwing and Mistlethrush amongst them to make scanning with a scope worthwhile.
Of course, any birdwatcher worth his salt keeps his eyes on the skies, hoping for a raptor. Today only Kestrels, but that's cool, as we septuagenarians really shouldn't say. And I used the word "birdwatcher" in preference to the modern "birder" quite deliberately, because the reason I did so well today is that I WATCHED. I stayed very still and waited for the birds to come to me. Which they did.
Thank you, God. As creations go, Yours is a humdinger. No complaints, but could you send a few raptors my way next time I am out? A Red Kite would be nice.

No comments: