It is meant to be high Summer, but it feels more like autumn; the light is not exactly brilliant (not sure a pun was intended), the monotonous call of the chiffchaff has been replaced by the tic of the robin, the rose hips and hawthorn berries are starting to turn red and, there is a lot of rain about. Still, this is no reason to stay indoors when all seems dull outside.
I took my new, lightweight pair of binoculars for a test drive at the Country Park today. I bought them a few weeks ago, but had so far not had any reason to use them. As expected the Country Park was wonderfully quiet on the visitor front, but still with plenty to catch one’s attention. The water was alive with gulls and geese, with a huge group of swans at the far end. Darting over the water wheeling and turning, almost touching the water and pulling away at what seemed to be after the last moment were the swallows and house martins reminding me that it was still Summer. The terns were also very much in evidence, gliding on the wind that is a permanent feature of Daventry or sitting on the purpose built raft.
In places there were splashes of colour, such as these yellow flowers, glowing, despite the rain, looking brighter when viewed against the dark rocks and the black-looking water. I hadn’t noticed these the first time I walked past them, I was too intent looking at the swooping swallows and house martins. I often find that reversing the direction in which I am walking gives a completely different view and outlook, leading to a whole different visual experience.
The highlight of my walk was a treecreeper that was most obliging, twining its way around the lowest branch of a large oak tree, just by the main path. These are exquisite birds, if you are lucky enough to get a good view, preferably through a good pair of binoculars, you will be startled by the delicate colouring, the many shades of brown that add up to make a beautiful little brown and white bird. Listen for the quiet squeaking and look at the trunk and branches to see a little bird spiralling around probing the cracks and fissures in the bark with its curved beak, looking for insects.
So, in conclusion, my new pair of binoculars are excellent, the weather may be dull and damp, but the wildlife is still out there, waiting to be seen. After all, if the birds stayed at home every time it rained they would soon starve to death, and the trees and flowers can’t up sticks (another unintended pun – sorry!) and look for shelter.