We’re running out of June. So Eddie and I decided to take a stroll onto the marsh, last time in Wild June and first time I had done so since the op on my knee last week. A bit of an adventure then. We took drinks, smoothie for Eddie and a beer for me, and found our usual place. Without, it has to be said, any vast expectations.
And at once a marsh harrier went past: a female, her creamy head shining out, one wing bearing a green tag for recognition – she was marked, I think, by the Hawk and Owl Trust. She was followed at once by a male: a stunning individual so startlingly pale I suspect he’s been mistaken for a hen harrier.
I’m pretty certain this is a bird I’ve seen before, but he looked even paler than usual. Perhaps my memory was at fault; perhaps he’d just had a bath. He came after the female in that fast shallow dive that harriers use, and playfully pounced at her back. She half-rolled, in what looked like playful acknowledgment, and they were gone.
So Eddie and I took our drinks in great content with the world. I felt that my first limping visit back here was rather specially blessed. The wild world will do that to you: make you feel that you — you and no one else – have been singled out for some of the planet’s finest things. It’s a fact that everyone who chooses to look and listen will have those moments — moments when you feel uniquely cherished and rewarded by the wild.
As we sat back to revel in that feeling a bird flew directly overhead, just out of reach. I caught first the silhouette against the sky, with the dagger-bill, and then a flash of colour: like radioactive smoked salmon. And that of course was a kingfisher.
We finished our drinks to the music of whitethroat and willow warbler before making our way back. We had a loaf of banana bread in the oven, after all. And… it seemed that Wild June had delivered once again. All you have to do is go out to meet it halfway and it’s there waiting for you. And you alone, just like everybody else, uniquely blessed…