7 May 2019

An excited call from Jen in the kitchen first thing: “There’s a deer in the garden!” There was too: a roe deer nibbling at the privet hedge.

I ran upstairs to grab my camera, and returned to find Jen standing at the dining room window, with the deer on the other side gazing in. It had its nose almost against the glass. With hindsight (no pun intended), I wonder if it was staring at its own reflection.

I slowly raised my camera, but the deer immediately started, leaping on to the lawn behind the lavender. I took a quick photo, but the reflection from the glass door was very intrusive. So I sneaked through into the living room to try to get a better view. “It’s jumped into the field!” called Jen. So I opened the door on to the patio and slipped outside.

The deer stood not far away in the field at the front of the house. It observed me for a few seconds as I took photos, then sprang high into the air, bounding off across the field in the general direction of Nutclough Wood.

Roe deer
Roe deer

En route to Dad’s, I stopped at Burton Marshes and took a walk to Burton Point. Sedge warblers were calling frantically (and tunelessly) from the Phragmites. Spotted a whitethroat, several reed buntings, a raven (always a thrill), and a whinchat (ditto). There were about seven billion midges at the Point, but they were decent enough to leave me alone. I can’t recall when I started calling them midges: we always called them gnats when I was a boy.

Sedge warbler
Sedge warbler

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Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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