A kind of mourning

Polesden Lacey was visited this afternoon, and Katrina and I strolled along the 'upper' woodland path that snaked eastwards, coming back along the valley bottom via one of the tracks that meanders through the sheep pasture. It was eerily quiet, save for the odd barking dog or shout from a child making the most of the last days of the Christmas school holidays. Bird wise it was almost a no-show, save for the 50+ Chaffinches that were spooked by a couple of walkers as they marched through a carpet of beech mast.

And I was looking, believe me, I was looking. Up along the tree tops. Across the floor of the beech woodland. Scanning the empty skies. And listening intently for any tell tale 'siip' or 'tick'. I was, to be truthful, chasing ghosts. Remembering what was here a year ago. Wanting to desperately relive those heady days, although I knew at the time that such events were once in a lifetime occurrences. We are, of course, talking Hawfinch.

It might sound dramatic, but I felt as if I was mourning their loss. These woods, this sky, were full of them just ten months ago - hundreds in Dorking Wood, birds strewn in every copse along the valley, on both sides and in the air above. As for today, one would have done, just the one, I wasn't going to be greedy. But no, if any were lurking out there, they kept hidden. Maybe I've used all of my 'Hawfinch dust' up.

Another day maybe, another day...


I remember your posts at the time, zillions of them
Gavin Haig said…
"Hawfinch dust". I like it.
Steve Gale said…
I'm hoping to liberate some 'Roller dust' later this year...

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