An ordinary day on the moss

Black-necked grebe by David Steel

On Day Four of his mosslands adventure for 30 Days Wild, David Steel meets some of the wildlife that many visitors will see in this wildlife wilderness

After yesterday’s delightful amble with my grandchildren, my wander out on the moss today was possibly to be a bit ordinary and it certainly seemed that way as I left the house to a grey, flat-looking day.

Then, upon on a newly sown potato field, I noted several lapwing, two of which were not quite fully grown. Now, there was a bright spot on this day, for once more our moss has hosted renewal for this declining species of birds.

Then road-runner-like a lone grey partridge ran down the track to Little Woolden Moss, before it took flight into a nearby crop. That put a smile on the day.

Curlew grabbed the sky and broadcast their bubbling song, as meadow pipit and skylark celebrated the presence of newly created habitat upon which they could rear their young. This ordinary was becoming elevated into red letter status. How could it not? It is June, it is our moss, it’s bound to give a wild highlight or two.

I suppose as I retreated from this wild area in order to take a group round Woolston Eyes, I should have expected the moss might try and anchor me in its presence. The cuckoo was assigned to this task. This now uncommon mosslands summer visitor On cue it issued its mermaid-like song and tried to scupper my sailing away from my own doorstep.

I escaped, reluctantly, Woolston was a delight. A wild day celebrated fully, the highlights being great crested grebe on their floating platform nest and the newly hatched black necked grebe being tenderly fed and cared for by their parents. Wild indeed.