Since late April 2020 I have been taking my camera with me on my morning walk. The purpose is to record some of the wildlife I see every day during the 90 minutes I’m in the countryside. I was inspired by my daily encounters with the brown hare, which is both native to and plentiful in this part of East Anglia. These beautiful creatures are amazing. They are far more abundant than most people imagine and in early April I was staggered to catch sight of eleven hares in one group. I stood unseen and watched them for a full five minutes as they socialised, boxed and jumped. Later that same morning, some two miles from the earlier encounter I came across another group of seven hares performing in much the same way. In the interim I had caught site of other singletons and pairs and although I wasn’t counting, quickly realised that I had probably seen in excess of twenty individual creatures and felt very privileged to have done so. This isn’t a new love affair. I started encountering hares on a regular basis soon after I moved to the area in November 2000. In July 2013 I was walking along a bridleway about half a mile from home, when a large hare sauntered through a gap in the hedgerow from an adjacent field of wheat and stopped just twenty metres ahead of me. I had my camera to hand and managed to fire off five or six shots before the hare decided that it had enough and wandered through the the tall grass into another field. (It’s very apparent when you look through the ‘Hares’ gallery below to which images I’m referring.)

The hare isn’t the only creature I encounter. There are rabbits, roe deer, munjac, buzzards, squirrels, water fowl and a wide variety of other avians. Certainly the most vociferous of these is the green woodpecker. There must be scores of them living in the countryside around the village. They are easily startled and their warning cry is both loud and distinctive, while their ‘bounding’ flight make them easily recognisable. Of course, the wood pidgeon and various members of the crow family make up the greater percentage of the bird population while the most tuneful are, without a doubt, our skylarks. Just a hundred or so metres to the south east of the main village street is a large meadow. This field has lain fallow for at least twenty years and is home to scores of skylarks. They can be heard from February until November and make for a melodic and joyous contrast to the traffic noise on the A143 that runs alongside.

The coronavirus lockdown period throughout the spring of 2020 was made bearable by these morning excursions into the countryside. There were no aircraft condensation trails in the sky, traffic noise was almost absent, visibility was significantly improved and there were almost no wildlife corpses at the roadsides. In the fields and hedgerows nature was busy. It’s not as if sitings of wildlife during my early morning walks was a rare occurence in the days prior to covid 19 – they weren’t, but they became far more commonplace by the start of May 2020. The vast majority of the images you will find here were taken after the 20th April. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I have enjoyed capturing them.

Birds & other fauna

Deer & Muntjac

Local Flora

Hare habitats