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
Picture: Shutterstock

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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.