A pair of baby sparrows fluttered and piped below the back doorstep and into the nearby japonica, while an adult bird ate quickly from the mealworms on the terrace nearby.
As I passed a Hampshire copse with my collie we startled the creatures sheltering among the trees. A flock of pheasants hurried out from one side, and a fox cub hurried out from the other end. They met and passed, and it was the fox cub who was most startled. He was in such a hurry to get away that he wove between the pheasants without giving them a glance.
Pale pink common orchid spikes just protrude above the long feathery grasses in one of the small meadows on the edge of Selborne common.
Hungerford common is golden with buttercups and the cows were clustered peaceably together among them. They were just above one of the common gates, and later on I saw the cowman’s car creeping across the common and round the herd’s flank as he checked on his animals.
Bertie, the back garden male blackbird, collected tiny pieces of mealworm in his beak, but swallowed them himself before finally taking some away. Bella, the female, sat on the fence behind me at lunch time, her claws scrabbling at the wood as she retained her balance. When I turned to look at her she met my gaze imperiously, so I duly went to get the mealworms.
Feeding birds in the front garden first thing this morning, I surprised a young blackbird, large but still without a tail. He paused below the side hedge and looked at me curiously before deciding he should probably hide. Another bird flew into the hedge as soon as I arrived. They were both probably youngsters of Billie, the male blackbird who holds the territory here.
A flash of coal black in front of the car was the tail that floated behind a stoat who streaked across in front of me on a country lane. It was all that showed of the creature who was cutting his dash very fine.
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