Sunday, 18 August 2013

Birding Elysium

The wheat is ready:

I love this time of year, just before the harvest. Walking through the fields, trailing my hand through the heads of the wheat, always reminds me of the opening scene in the film Gladiator. And also the following quote from the same film: "If you find yourself alone, riding in the fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you're already dead" Am I birding the afterlife? If so, I was really hoping for a few more birds... 

One of the farm workers told me that there is an old expression for knowing when the wheat is ready - "When the old man bows his head". This old man is certainly ripe for the harvest:

Young birds provided most of the interest this morning. Somehow a pair of Reed Warblers have fledged a brood in the tiny amount of reeds that cling on by the edge of the River Thame. Here is a fresh juvenile:

The local pair of Hobbies appear to have fledged at least two young. One juvenile was still hanging around the nesting area:

It never ceases to amaze me that all of the above young birds will be in southern Africa within 8 weeks.

1 comment:

  1. I doubt if you'll find much that's heavenly in a modern intensive wheat field - in fact such a lot of our wildlife can not survive in these conditions and far from being elysian fields of paradise they are a modern day hell. But I guess you know that already Tom.