John bought me a zazzy pair of binoculars for my birthday this year and we decided to road-test them on Sunday with a trip to a nature reserve. It became obvious very quickly that the strap was too long for a wearer whose neck is so close to the ground. But the helpful staff performed a bit of nifty strap-work (despite curious glances from on-lookers) and soon I was kitted out and ready for action. With a meow of appreciation, I trotted off down the muddy path that twisted its way through the tall trees and thick bramble to the wonders nature had in store for us that day.
Normally, John and I both have cameras and work as a team to get the best shots we can, but today I was ‘off-duty’ and determined to relax and enjoy the surroundings. I could hear the birds singing, but they were incredibly difficult to spot, possibly because they were a little nervous about being watched by an adventurous sleek black (ever so slightly portly) cat like me! But with my extraordinary patience and enquiring mind, I was able to spy a few good-looking birds, including Canadian geese, mallard ducks, goldfinches, greenfinches and the one I was most excited about, the great spotted woodpecker. Ok I’ll be honest, John was much better at spotting the birds than me, by the time I got my fab new binoculars lined up to the right place, the cheeky little minxes had flown off.
While we were sitting in the hide-out watching the wading birds dipping their heads beneath the surface of the streams and marshes, the swans and black-headed gulls flew overhead and we caught sight of a small group of deer resting beneath a large leafy oak tree, probably planning their next meal or deciding on a safe place to sleep that night. As we walked back through the woodland, panting somewhat because it was uphill, we noticed a field of cows that all had horns and I had to laugh when one of them used her horns to have a good scratch.
On the way home, we stopped at a friend’s house for refreshments and I bumped into my old mate Muffin sunning herself in the back garden. I entertained her with tales of my adventures through the forest and the fascinating species of wildlife I had witnessed with my magnificent binoculars and she was very impressed.