The day began with a drive past the farms at Robroyston, it was there I spotted a hawk sitting on a fence post at the edge of the road. This was an unusual enough experience on its on because the only time I've previously seen a hawk is when its been flying about 500 feet over my head. I was amazed when the hawk didn't seem to be bothered by the traffic that was passing its hunched shoulder by just a few feet. By the time I got there though it decided it was time to move, but it didn't move away from me, it flew in a parallel direction, alongside the passenger side of the van for what seemed like 30 seconds (although in all reality it was probably closer to 5). I could have sworn at the time when the hawk finally decided it had enough of low level flying and that it was time to move upwards for better prey spotting that we first exchanged eye contact, but that might have been my overactive imagination.
What I do know for sure is that as much as I was enjoying this moment it was also annoying me knowing that my camera was close by just sitting behind my feet but still unreachable because I had to keep my hands on the steering wheel. So I have no image to share just the proverbial fisherman's 'it really was this big' story.
After that experience I came across a red squirrel. Red squirrels are native to Britain but they are getting rarer every year as they cannot compete with the American grey squirrels that were introduced little over a 100 years ago. The grey squirrels have a virus that although harmless to other greys are deadly to reds and the greys are also more aggressive eaters, so when the greys move in the reds tend to move or die out. For years I've seen grey squirrels in huge numbers here but I had never once seen a red squirrel in the area, so when I spotted one I just sat and watched for a while. With careful observation I noticed that any time it felt in any danger it would hide away but would always return to a favourite tree. So I went back to the van and got my camera out and went back to the tree and sat on a very damp rock and tried to remain as still as possible until the red squirrel decided to come back again. Of course when it did so it spotted me right away and was not happy with me being there. It's amazing how something so small can make so much noise.
I wasn't going anywhere though, it could make as many clicking noises as it liked but I was going to continue to sitting on my damp rock no matter how uncomfortable it was. Eventually it decided that I wasn't a threat and it got closer and closer and eventually I got a picture. Unfortunately even with the zoom it wasn't quite close enough but I was determined to sit it out and get a better picture. Slowly but surely the red got used to my presense under the tree and continued to get closer and just when I thought I was about to get a good picture 3 kids ran out of godknowswhere making so much noise doing so that every living thing in the vicinity hid, including the damn squirrel.
Whatever happened to kids should be seen and not heard?
To top it all off, on the drive home a fox thought it would try to outstare the headlights of the van. Eventually it saw sense and moved off the road before I ran it over but again it was another opportunity missed.