This is the day

By wrencottage

Hidden Gems

We have spent the day fairly quietly, just enjoying being back up here. We will need to take it steadily and not try to do more than we can manage.

This afternoon I walked out on to Elterwater Common, which is just outside our estate. It is still covered with copper coloured bracken, with only a very few new green shoots appearing. It looks pretty uninteresting, and as the sky was overcast I wasn’t expecting much success with the camera.

However, I was practising my mindful walking, and became aware of an unfamiliar bird sound all around me. I’m a novice birdwatcher, but when I saw a bird with a black head and reddish brown chest perched on a bracken stalk, I thought it must be a male stonechat – especially as the sound I could hear sounded just like chatting! I then spotted a female stonechat, a yellowhammer, and also a dunnock. It seems that the dull, brown landscape was actually seething with bird life!

When I got back indoors I uploaded my bird photos to iNaturalist, hoping for confirmation that my identification is correct. I’m thrilled to bits because I’ve never seen a stonechat or a yellowhammer before, and the yellowhammer’s UK conservation status is red.

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