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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

From the high seat

This week, it's more like to and from the high seat but what a journey it was.

It was worth getting up at 04-45 just to see the stars, the sky was inky black and the  stars were beautiful, Orion was just East of South and The Dipper was just East of North, the Moon and Mars, I think, were clearly visible as I set off.
As soon as I arrived at the farm I was out of the car in a jif to watch the stars and listen to the world waking up, a Chinese Water Deer (CWD) didn't waste any time in barking his objection to my presence, others joined in too but even with binoculars in the gathering light, it was impossible to see any detail at all, just a dark shape contrasted against a slightly lighter background.

As the light gathered, the stars were overpowered and soon only the moon and planets were visible and as deer became visible my attention was focused at ground level not in the sky. CWD are still out of season but every visit now is geared to preparation for that great day, checking how many and where we can encounter these fellows on the 7th of November, our first outing of the season.

A very brief excursion revealed only CWD, no Muntjac for the freezer today and besides, I had a primary objective which was to find my glasses which I think I lost while trimming trees around one of our high seats last Tuesday evening, the light that evening had really dropped below a level that made sense for this kind of task but when you have little spare time, you have to use it as best you can.

So off I went to retrace my steps of the journey where I think I lost my glasses but as the sun and temperature rose just a little bit, the frost turned to dew and the dew to mist which came and went like a giants breath over the fields. Every piece of vegetation seemed to have a cobweb on it and every cobweb loaded with dew to diffuse the low sun, it was a picture hard for any artist to capture or poet to describe, every droplet like a jewel, it was magnificent! And as for the glasses, they remain in a location unknown, who knows if they will ever show up but the morning outing was superb, the weather, the location and the constantly varying array of wildlife a joy to me. I saw in excess of 20 CWD , Reed Buntings, Buzzards, Kestrels, Long Tailed Tits and more ducks and swans than I could count, an ever present cloud of Pigeons and an increasingly large group of Lapwings which appear to be making a bit of a come back in recent years. Every one of these were welcome companions on my journey and each added to its variety and wonder, I never tire of seeing these things and hope I never will.

In just 4 weeks, we will be on high alert, watching every movement as the light gathers to reveal our options on our first outing of Chinese water deer season, today I have seen singles and groups of three in places I have not seen them before. These sightings and all out of season reconnaissance will dictate where we sit on that day, twigs trimmed, seats checked, everything in place but the most important thing will be to enjoy the day irrespective of success or failure, there is always something to see and there is always another day and another reason to get out in the fresh air, don't take my word for it, come and see for yourself!


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