Hennie van Heerden's Wildlife Diary

May 8, 2010

A perfect day!

Filed under: May — Hennie van Heerden @ 8:41 am

Today was a wonderful day. I started off really early in the morning and went to the Veluwezoom; a National Park that opens up at sunrise. I wanted to cruise this park on my way to a rapeseed field my friend Michel had pointed out to me, to see if I could catch me a Bluethroat; a bird high on my wishlist. Much to my excitement I saw a group of Red Deer does at first light, when the heather fields were still very foggy and a soft drizzle was falling down. They made a beautiful picture against the soft blue haze. Very special as I’d never seen Red Deer in this park before. With this uplifting sight the day suddenly held a promise for things to come.

Not much further a Roe Deer stood in the forest but somehow something seemed wrong. While all the other Roe Deer already had shed their winter fur, this one was still in full winter coat. Normally this is a sign that the animal is sick. I just hope this handsome fellow will be alright.

The way to the rapeseed field led me along the river IJssel. At the side of the road I spotted this cute little baby bunny, munching away on tiny purple flowers. I parked the car and waited half an hour to let it get used to me, so it would feel at ease again. Just when the bunny came out of the tall grass and started eating, a bright red car came up to me from behind, stopped in between me and the bunny and shouted: “What’s there to see???!!”. You can imagine that I had some trouble staying friendly. When I pointed out the bunny to the driver he looked at it and with a cheerfull “It’s still there!!” he revved up his motor, accidently reversed, revved it up again, and finally moved off, this time in the right direction. Much to my surprise the bunny had stayed put and allowed me some lovely shots.

When I finally cut myself loose from the cute bunny I headed in the direction of the German border. Suddenly I hit the brakes.. I had been looking for ‘Little Owls’ all winter but couldn’t find them. And here he was!! Sitting in a willow tree, just next to the road! Must admit I parked the car just there and then, ignoring the ‘no-stopping’-sign completely. Fortunately this is a country road, so hardly any people passed. I was thrilled! The little Owl allowed me some shots before it flew off to another willow.

My route led me further and I passed the German border, driving through dense forest. A sound entered the open windows of my car and I recognized the familiar song of the Red Robin. Parked and waited again. Soon enough the little guy came to check out what I was doing there.

After all of these distractions I finally reached the rapeseed fields. By that time I had had such a great time, I couldn’t really care if the Bluethroats would be there or not. And indeed, they weren’t. In stead I got treated to a Whitethroat singing his little head off in the tops of the rapeseed flowers.

Just when I thought the day couldn’t have gotten any better, a small Chiffchaff paid me a visit, looking like a bride in his gown of white petals, but the day really got unforgettable when I, on the way back home, with a camera full of pictures, encountered this beautiful male pheasant. About down to the last possible space left on my memory cards, and certainly at the last available light, I could just capture him displaying. The slow shutterspeed, due to the sparse light, captured the blur of the wings in a way I had only dreamed off. Really happy with this shot!

What a perfect ending to a perfect day!!


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