Keep your eyes open during your walks

Great maypole colouring from Madeline Lewry, of St Edward's Road, Gosport
Great maypole colouring from Madeline Lewry, of St Edward's Road, Gosport

From broken bones to new beginnings

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Isn’t it funny how you take your surroundings for granted?

I’ve been doing the same walk three times a day, every day for six years now.

Usually I just keep my head down and sniff – around the foot of lampposts, on the verges and along the banks of the stream which cuts across a nearby field. Rarely do I bother to look up.

But the other day a particularly annoying bee kept buzzing around my snout. It was obviously playing games with me and I was too slow to catch it even though I was leaping about.

It was only while I was airborne that I snatched a glimpse of something I’d not seen before. I was beside a hedge and had I not been jumping I would not have seen a beautifully-constructed nest – a little wren’s home. And inside the perfectly formed circular bowl of small twigs and moss was mum sitting on five tiny eggs waiting to hatch.

The next day I set off that same walk, but this time with my head up and my ears pricked. When I got to the hedge, guess what? Instead of eggs there were five tiny chicks all clamouring to be fed.

I stayed very quiet and kept my distance and within seconds mum, or it might have been dad, zoomed into the nest with a beak full of grubs which he/she fed to its new-born.

They guzzled them whole and then called for more. I watched for a long time and those adult birds did not stop bringing food for their little ones. Just goes to show: keep your ears and eyes open for you never know what you might see.

Chip chip for now. Your old pal Chipper.