Spring has definitely sprung, in my small corner of Somerset, UK. The weather has turned decidedly balmy, the spring flowers are showing their colours with glorious abandon in the more sheltered sunny spots, buds are appearing on the trees and the birds are in full seasonal song, as they prepare for the annual nest building ritual.
Our house backs on to a bridle track and lightly wooded lane, which is home to many species of birds and wildlife, who regularly visit our garden, for their daily feast and watering hole.
A week or so ago, we were surprised and elated to see a pair of deer, grazing and relaxing on the sun dappled, far bank of the lane, seemingly without a care in the world. This is the first time in the twenty odd years that we have lived here, that we have witnessed this phenomenon. Muntjac deer are quite a common site in the rolling fields whch surround the area, but this was a pair of Fallow deer, with the male sporting a complete set of very large antlers, so needless to say the camera came out. Unfortunately, they were just that little bit too far way for us to get a clear photo opportunity, blending in as well as they did, with the many trunks and branches of the barren trees.
They stayed with us for three or four days, before wandering on to pastures new, for which, in some ways, we were quite grateful. Whilst they were often obscured from our prying eyes, and were seemingly unconcerned by the many cats and other creatures, that ventured closer to get a look at the new arrivals, they were nonetheless in a very vulnerable and exposed position, for hunters of the two-legged variety, who regularly frequent the lane with their air-rifles, hoping to bag a pigeon or pheasant. A deer would have made quite a trophy, so a move to a more sheltered and hidden position, seemed to us, a good move for them, although we were sorry to see them go.
Yesterday morning, at about 6am, I was treated to an amazing chorus of birdsong, that seemed unusual, but which I was unable to identify. Happening to look out of the kitchen window a little later, I was witness to my own private concert, as the songster was perched on the fence, not a couple of metres from the window, singing his heart out. For just that few seconds, my seranader gave away his identity, a very proud and upright Song Thrush, who disappeared as quickly as he had arrived, leaving me with the perfect photo opportunity and a happy, cheerful start, to this early spring day…