Chairman Peter Shallcross and I have had two similar experiences when birds suddenly flew out or up and we stopped to look. Peter was at Clarendon, approaching a battered old wall when a spotted flycatcher flew out - and looking carefully inside, there were its chicks. (Apologies to those who viewed the photo of the yellow wagtail! - it belongs in another story.)
I was out on my favourite orchid hillside, towards Berwick St John. I'd 'done' the orchids and was thinking of walking on round, so set off across the big sheep field on the top of the hill. But I changed my mind and turned back. I was using the 'transept' method (of which more shortly under 'Reporting') of scanning left and right as I walked, when suddenly this bird shot up from under my feet, flashing white feathers in its rump. I stopped dead and looked down, and was absolutely thrilled to see this tiny nest at my feet. Peter identifies the eggs as a meadow pipit's. What a treat!
Facebook readers will know that Peter had a similar experience, finding a skylark nest near a path.
So be very careful where you walk especially if you're not on a path, and keep a very good lookout!
Photo: Barn owl
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