A short excursion to the Ericht
After a pretty stressful week a visit, albeit a short one, to the Ericht was needed to ease the troubled mind. So the pup and I ventured to the river to seek a bit of tranquillity. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I could feel the worries drifting away and the closer I got to the river, all was forgotten. It’s amazing how some places just lift the spirit and the river is one of those special locations to me.
Anyway, we had only walked 50 yds down the field and the pup put up a hare, thankfully he never saw it as it went “hell for leather” through the hedgerow and across the adjacent field. Beautiful creatures the hares as I know from personal experience as I had a pet hare as a child. Her name was Harriet (original or what?) and she came to us as a little leveret no bigger than a tennis-ball sized bundle of fur that was the cutest little beastie that you will ever see. She caused mayhem in our household, terrorising our Bearded Collie, Susie. Harriet used to sneak up on the poor dog and bite the hairs between the pads of her feet as she was sleeping. The dog would wake up and try in vain to chase the hare, which had taken shelter behind the TV. Yet, the dog would never harm the Hare and it was often that you might find the pair of them cuddled up together. So, back to the river; the next thing we saw were 3 Roe deer, well just the white flash of their butts as they bounded off down the embankment heading to a copse of trees by the river. I hope to get some decent pics of them this year as I see them often, but having the dog and being upwind of them tonight gave little opportunity.
As we neared the area where I watch the beavers I slipped the dog back on his lead and we settled down to watch the river and all that it could offer. The smell of wild garlic was quite intoxicating even though it is just in its early stages of growth. As we sat, and I had to have a wee laugh to myself as the dog just lay down and went to sleep, he’s getting used to our trips to the river. I didn’t have to wait long before I saw some activity, but not of the Castor variety. To my left on a beaver chewed tree, landed a wee Pied Wagtail, lovely wee birds and always busy. The birdlife by the river just now is ever-increasing, with what I’m sure was a couple of warblers but the grey dusk never gave me a photo opportunity, in fact I had just switched my camera off as any pics were going to be grainy. Switching it off was not a great idea, as a kingfisher landed on a tree opposite me, not for long but it wouldn’t have been a great pic but a kf pic is always worth having. However not to be though I did get another two sightings of the Kingfisher, once going up the river, and once on it’s return, screaming as it went. With very little visible wing movement, it is incredible to see how fast these gorgeous birds can go, just a flash of blue and silver.
As I sat and the dog snoozed, a wee wren started giving us jip. I can only presume that we were near his nest as he was pretty adamant he was going to give us a rather loud and prolonged beak-lashing. So, I decided enough was enough and even though it had only been 45 mins by the river, it was time to head back. The evensong of the birds as we went back to car was lovely, with the blackbirds and particularly the robins being the loudest. Hopefully I’ll be able to find time soon to get back down and even more hopefully see the beavers. I hope the kits survived the floods, as I know the adults did as I’ve seen them but no sightings so far of the new yearlings. Fingers crossed though and as things unfold, hopefully I’ll be able to update you.