I’ve had a wonderful time watching the Stonechats on Trendlebere Down. I’ve spent a couple of afternoons with them, observing them at close quarters. I’ve got used to their behaviour and their calls. I’ve kept far enough away from them, disguised myself, at much personal pain, in a Gorse bush and allowed them to come to me.
They really are stunning birds, gloriously adapted to life on the heath. I’ve manoeuvred myself around to get the best background I possibly can and got some pleasing photographs. This is probably my favourite:
Which is yours?
I’m tired and hungry so it’s nearly time to leave them. They must be tired and hungry too. They have a family to feed. I know there must be a chick here somewhere but I’m not willing to chase it. The last thing these birds need is to feel that I’m a threat. I’m just packing up when I see it:
It’s their fledgeling.
I love the distinctive soft yellow gape of the fledgeling. It’s a massive ‘feed me’ signal to its parents.
Seeing it is a beautiful end to an entertaining time with the family. It’s the perfect time to say goodbye to them and give them all my best wishes for the future. I hope they’ll continue to be here, living their busy lives and that other people will come to marvel at them in the same way I have.
Life’s so much better when you can spend time appreciating the wonders of the natural world just minutes from your doorstep. We all need a stronger dose of nature if we’re to overcome the problems human overpopulation and exploitation of resources is causing. If I only encourage one more person to spend one more minute in awe of nature, I’ll be happy.
Thanks for joining me.