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I soon realised that it had the regularity and pattern of a Roe Deer. There was a clear ebb and flow in the calls. This is characteristic of a Buck in pursuit of a Doe – last year I watched a similar game of catch which was being played out in the open grassland, leaving what would otherwise be an unexplained circular trail. This time and this evening the game was on inside the wood. The chase continued for ten minutes or so before it ended and background birdsong was all that played on.

Roe Does are not given much time off, no sooner has one year’s progeny been produced when the creation of next year’s has begun. Roe have a long pregnancy, a delayed implantation extends the length of the gestation period, with birth being delayed until the following May.

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David phoned. His latest sighting was somewhat unexpected. A largish animal appeared in the headlights late one evening as he drew in to the top of his drive. In his mind it could be nothing else but an otter. But in the village street? Admittedly the Bure was not too far away – in fact the river was a field and a half away, say 300 yards, but this did seem to be rather off the beaten otter track. I went through the possibilities with him, perhaps it was an otter, or could it have been a mink. Conceivably either, but the size favoured the former as the most likely. No tracks were traceable, so we noted it down and decided to keep our eyes peeled.

When the subject came up at the village jubilee party, the penny dropped. A whole pond full of ornamental fish had been raided and eaten at the Old Rectory. Suspicions were roused. The timing was right. We had a motive and the evidence of the professionally devoured fish. The evidence seemed to be more than circumstantial. But there the trail ended. How far do otters range in search of easy prey? Some distance seems to be the answer. An Otter fencing order is advisable for any remaining ponds on ornamental fish in the village and if there are largish mammals spotted at night in the village street..

The small hawk, sickle winged, jinked and swerved in its run. Its wings alternately swept back and outstretched in that fluid flight that it so characteristic of this type of hawk. I assume that the blustery conditions had forced the usual quarry – whether it be House Martins or large insects – down to street level. In any event this visit was fruitless for the hawk, but at this speed it will cover a large area and eventually successfully strike.

In a gentle but persistent summer rain, a Garden Warbler sings from the cover of the upper branches of a tall Birch tree. Spirit resilient, it’s territorial claim continues. In early June the birds’ need for display and defence of territory overcomes the impact of weather. The song, short phrased, fluting and slightly plaintive is subtly different from its near-relative, the Blackcap. The Blackcap, to my ears, produces a song of similar duration but seems to add a clear final phrase each time. This aids recognition. Although it is never easy to achieve any match in words, the ending phrase goes something like “sooey sooey sooey soo” and follows whatever complex warbling the bird conjures up beforehand.