Early Summer Update – Andy Malcolm (2018)
Early summer update – Andy Malcolm
‘As much as I love seeing the big, impressive stuff- like eagles and stags fighting I also get a real thrill when I spot the unusual- or the ordinary doing extraordinary things.
This year has been exceptional for these less obvious delights. I’ve seen species that I’ve rarely or never seen up here before- brambling, reed bunting, blackcap, marsh harrier. But I’ve also been privileged enough to have witnessed some really cool behaviour. Like the hesitant, bobbing parallel walk of displaying woodcock. Or when a small male adder chased off 3 larger suitors before getting his leg over…..if you know what I mean. Or when a pair of swallows flew straight at me, snapping their beaks inches from my face before jinking away in the blink of an eye.
However, I think my favourite was when I spotted several birds in the treetops of a scots pine wood. When I put my binoculars on them I was amazed to see they were red squirrels, sitting motionless in the very highest twigs. They were lit up while the rest of the wood was in shadow. It took a moment for it to dawn (sic) on me that they were catching the first rays of the rising sun after a still, frosty night.
These things are happening all the time. You just have to be out there to experience them…and you have to be ‘tuned-in’ enough to recognise when they’re happening.
When you do, it’s magic.”