Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Going Batty

OK, we’ll get the obvious comments out of the way for a start: “What do you mean going?” “We thought you were already!”

I’m not actually talking about my mental state (although some think I’m mad when I say I can’t stand Prosecco or have no desire to visit America) but wildlife.
I’ve often commented on the varied wildlife that I can watch from the comfort of my little riverside haven and the list seems to be growing. I continue to watch herons, cormorants, egrets, woodpeckers, goldfinches and all manner of birds on the riverbank and in the garden, but recently I’ve been seeing much more.

With the onset of warmer evenings, I’ve taken to sitting out in the garden enjoying the view, armed with a glass of wine (not Prosecco) or gin and tonic, enjoying the tranquillity of it all. It was on one such evening that I had an extra close-up view of the bats. Now I’ve always loved bats (yes, I just keep getting stranger) and have seen a few flitting by in the past, but on this occasion they were circling so low for insects, that they were only about a foot or two above my head! This didn’t faze me (I don’t believe in the old wives' tale about bats in the hair) but fascinated me. To have such a ringside seat was amazing!

But bats aren’t the only creatures that I’m watching on a summer evening. I’ve also discovered water voles! Strange splashing noises from the river alerted me to take a closer look, revealing a dark shape swimming in the water. This shape then made for the riverbank and climbed ashore – a water vole, Ratty himself!
Then to add to the list, I was sitting in the garden reading one afternoon, when I noticed something making its way rapidly through the grass heading towards me. As I looked closer I realised that it was a newt that then dashed past me into some nearby shade. Whether it came from the river or a nearby pond I’m unsure, but it certainly took me by surprise.

I’m always on the lookout for the arrival of another seal, having seen one splashing in the river directly in front of the glorified shed last summer. But I’m still waiting...

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