Sunday, 19 April 2015

quinque torquatos in agro

There was a narrow band of peach light separating the hedgeline from the waves of turgid cloud rolling in from the east. Mepal airfield looked more or less the same as it had done the last time I was there in the winter, but it has dried out and now the hawthorn boundary was freshly green. My plan was to show Rich some of the good patches in the Ely area, since he has now moved here, and we had started at dawn down at Sutton Gault. Apart from a few Common Terns flying up the wash it was fairly quiet there, so we moved on to Mepal. We both decided that it was a perfect spot for Ring Ouzels, and even before we could finish considering the idea, we were conscious that five Ring Ouzels were ahead of us, hopping among the dried tussocks. Four were males, and one of them was particularly striking, and while we kept our distance they seemed perfectly content. The black and white magic continued with a splendid male Pied Wagtail, whose greater coverts were almost entirely white.
Further across the field, the scrubby corner was alive with Blackcap and Willow Warbler song, and a Common Whitethroat briefly hung above us chuckling to itself, happy, as we were to be there.