Monday 4 June 2007



My life as Bill Oddie is characterised by opportunities missed. For example, yesterday as I was working on clearing the pile of leylandii bits from the track so that tractors could get through when they come to cut my grass I saw a rose chafer beetle mumbling about in the brambles. I went to get the camera straight away but when I got back, it had gone.

Then I took a little wander to spot eucalyptus trees, planted last year and swamped by overgrowth this. Basking in a warm patch of sun I found a huge fat grass snake. Naturally, no camera to hand but by the time I got back with it the snake was still there. Hurrah, or actually not, as I focussed in she noticed me and disappeared into the long grass at speed.

As I sat eating a well deserved tomato sandwich in the late afternoon a bird I have never seen before in my life landed on the wall in front of me, waggled its tail suggestively and shot out of my life again. A tomato sandwich is no substitute for a camera in a situation like that. The bird was a Redstart I later discovered. I have for a time believed we have Black Redstarts as I could think of no other explanation for the rather dull looking birds with red tails that are often about the place but this was the real thing. Very very pretty.

I've long ago lost hope of photographing owls. They are so silent that there is no way of knowing they're flying past until they leave your field of vision. A couple of nights ago, maybe about the time of the full moon, I saw the barn owl fly across the yard and heard several other owl types calling in the forest. We have bats too, they roost in the yew trees near the stream but I've no idea what sort they are.

So, there is a picture of docks flowering above which is quite a lovely sight surprisingly, tall and strong and colourful, but I bet you'd rather have seen a Redstart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

[envy] Wish I was there. [\envy]