Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Life & Death on a Tuesday Morning

A greedy grave
That still for carrion carcases doth crave
On top whereof ay dwelt the ghostly owle
We shield young eyes from that which it leaves behind, avert their gaze and whisper the name in their presence. A mystery, a knowledge not necessary, lest a stake get driven through innocence. Many hide it from themselves, pretend it doesn't exist, wrap up in the hubris of now and the immortal cloak of the hereafter. Nevertheless round a corner, behind a door or in the midst of the morning sunshine death waits to embrace us with it's soft lingering kiss.

We would have missed the silent steady flight of the Barn Owl that crossed over the path back from the hide at Cresswell had we not stopped to look at the dead sheep this morning. So many questions from eager urchin explorers not wishing to miss the opportunity of this unexpected phenomenon that had conveniently expired a few metres off the path. With little else out of the ordinary on Cresswell Pond it was a toss up between the sheep and the owl for the highlight of the morning, I think the sheep may have won in my kid's eyes. Triumph in death.

Further up the road, 2 Pintail remained at Druridge Pool and had been joined by a couple of Shoveler; 3 Common Snipe were noted for the first time this year. A single Brambling arrived with Chaffinches as we departed the entrance gate. A female Stonechat was the 'bird on the wire' as we crossed to the dunes to scan a calm sea on which sailed a seemingly endless number of Red-throated Divers, each one haughty and aloof with head raised skyward.

As we reached the car, homeward bound, our eyes were drawn to the heavens as 500 noisy, life-filled Pink-footed Geese brought a respectful, slightly hung-jaw silence from those that had earlier confronted death in all it's magnitude.


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