This is the quiet, desolate, icy scene that greeted me on a stroll earlier this week around one of my local patches. Not a sign of any activity anywhere.
Does it look safe enough to walk on? ... I don't think I'll test it.
Not even a breeze to caress the fingers of the leafless Birches that dominate my skyward view. I hear the faint 'kick...kick' sound of a Great Spotted Woodpecker and then much closer the noisy, harsh 'kraa..kraa' calls from a number of Carrion Crows. I turn away from my intened course to follow these sounds into the dark woodland just in case there is an Owl or raptor around who is not welcome but after a few minutes the calls cease. I wait patiently and scan around but find nothing...so now retrace my steps.
Back on track I head uphill, walking slowly, trying to reduce the sound of crunching ice with every placement of my boots, intently listening and looking for any sign of life.
The only evidence of those who came before me is their frozen footprints
Nearing the top of the rise I spot a pair of Jays and stealthily commence my approach...could this be the day for some decent photos? The sound of human voices penetrates the quiet air and a family of four appear over to my right, totally oblivious of my existence, they head downhill chatting loudly and then shouting after their young charges that have run off ahead. I am invisible to my own species but the Jays have responded by moving on so I continue on my chosen route.
It's only 2 p.m. but the moon is clearly visilble but nothing flies across my line of sight.
As I change my heading the stillness is broken by the unmistakeable chatty clicking calls of Long Tailed Tits. High up above a party of at least 15 individuals flit from perch to perch, often dangling upside down as they hunt for tiny morsels. They are moving on very quickly so I only manage one passable shot.
Maybe next time there will be more wildlife activity to enjoy but at least the fresh air was good. FAB