I think we all take things for granted. Those things we see every day become mundane and are not appreciated. Well, not ALL of us but i reckon most do.
The return i mention at the top was the return of the wildlife on the pond. Having been frozen solid for well over 4, possibly 5 weeks i was taken aback by the sounds that i often almost ignore. I came in from the west and within minutes had 3 finches on Alders on the hillside. A Goldfinch and 2 Lesser Redpolls. What a start. It went quiet for the next 30 minutes or so as i came over the top of the main hill but as i walked down one of the waggonways leading to Swallow Pond i heard some Widgeon. "Champion" i thought to myself "Some birds on the water at last." As i poked my head through one of the 4 "windows" of the metal hide that overlooks Swallow, what seemed like a mini cacophony of sound hit me. I thought back to the last few weeks and how silent and almost hostile this place had been. It was fantastic!
A couple of Mallard were having some sort of dispute and it was nice to hear quacking again. In the reeds possibly half a dozen Moorhen were busy feeding. Heads down oblivious to everything going on around them. A coot sailed past with head down in that attack position but i couldn't see what the problem was. A couple of Shoveller in the distance, 8 Pochard, male and female all asleep floating around. The 2 adult Mute Swans with their now diminishing family of 3 Cygnets gliding gracefully about. Numbers of Gulls, i didn't notice what, noisily splashing about by the island. It was lush. I even noticed the motion of the water. Circles where birds had possibly dived under. Small waves left by the wake of ducks and wildfowl. Ripples as the wind passed over.
I turned my attention back away from the pond. As i sat a dozen people had stopped off as they passed through the Rising Sun and a number had left bird food in and around on fence posts, railings and on top of the large covered waste bin. This always brings in the Robins and Blackbirds, Blue and Great Tits and Dunnocks. All of which i saw. Briefly in the hedge appeared a male Reed Bunting. Then the sound of Finches coming from "Alder Swamp". I quickly made my way there but the birds were very flighty. I made out Goldfinch, Siskin and Redpoll but they were disturbed so never got a good look. A venture into the plantation before i left brought only a distraught sounding Blackbird, which i couldn't see, and 3 Magpies in the same vicinity.
Highlight of the day ? Easy..............hearing the first quack of a Mallard this year, 2011......and the sight and sounds of a pond that had returned to life.