Snipe snaps me back to reality

Fungi by Dave Steel

On the second day of Christmas, a mistle thrush made a half-hearted attempt to utter a few notes of its early spring song - practice makes perfect - as if to lift the light. The rain soon put a stop to that flush of optimism!

On the second day of Christmas, a mistle thrush made a half-hearted attempt to utter a few notes of its early spring song - practice makes perfect - as if to lift the light. The rain soon put a stop to that flush of optimism!

A flock of wood pigeon moved restlessly about the sky as if in anticipation of what seems to be the tradition of holding a “shoot” on this second day of Christmas. How clever they were, for soon after I heard the report of 12-bore shotguns. The Wild is a canny beast.

My camera braved the rain on several failed attempts to capture images of the Wild, even turning itself onto me, as if to emphasise my determination to celebrate another uplifting wander about our mosslands . . . WHATEVER the weather.

A tree now in its final stages of being returned to the soil hosted a flush of bracket fungus, whilst a party of 15 long-tailed tits passed noisily by. I did position myself to perhaps catch an image of one of these but this was at the point that the battery ran out. Perhaps I was a little wild at that moment. Battery changed, and the calm that being out there in the elements induces swept back into me.

A soggy patch of stubble then released that springbok of our moss, a jack snipe. It was time to celebrate in that exuberant way that has been with me through the decades when I have encountered this diminutive bundle of winter feathers - they leave in the spring. It was time to trundle off home.

Now, where is that image of a jack snipe I took back in early December - I MUST share it.

Jack snipe by Dave Steel

Jack snipe by Dave Steel