Mad June Hares

A surprising ride for wildlife:

  • A decent-sized flock of starlings in a field near Nuffield – far more than I normally see around here at any time of year;
  • Red-kites play-fighting below Swyncombe, including one ‘bombing’ another on the ground – which later flew up, seemingly fine, reinforcing the impression that it is all play-fighting and nothing else;
  • A hare jumping around in field near Benson – I know their breeding season is longer than just March but you don’t often see them much later than that;
  • A ferret-weasel-stoat type of animal, dragging a dead baby rabbit across a lane and into a hedge. Now, I’m not saying this with any certainty, but judging by the colouring I’d say this was a polecat I saw – near Checkendon – but I’ve read they’re mainly to be found in Wales, with some sightings in Hampshire and Wiltshire. So … I’m totally unsure about this, but it looked very polecat-like.
  • And a fair few swallows hurtling around on their low-level sorties in the quieter lanes, often within just a few feet of me – but I think there are fewer than normal.

And you can still go for walks down bluebell-lined paths, weeks after they should be over. They’re saying it’s the coldest spring in 50 years but I fear that sends the wrong message. Instead of that feeling alarming, it’s reassuring – oh, it’s rare but it’s happened before so it’s nothing to worry about. It doesn’t put it in context – the context of the increasing frequency of unusual weather events of any type.

Everything else aside, it’s another dismal example of the media selling its audience short.

Bluebells in June

This is not normal