Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Creatures

CYCLING along a wheat field I happened to spot a chubby bird leading her chicks on a trek. They were extremely well camouflaged in the golden-brown stubble - it was only their movement that made them visible. It started me on a quest to try and snag a photo, involving scrambling down a bank of brambles, but they were long gone before I finally landed on the field, panting and scratched. (Course, it wasn't the stealthiest approach I've ever made...). I knew the name of this bird, but only in German. Imagine my surprise when I looked it up and discovered it was a partridge! So, evidently partridges don't live in pear trees; the edges of cereal fields are in fact their natural habitat, and they nest right there in the ground.

We stumbled across another animal's natural habitat while playing cards in a field late at night on a camping trip. A shadow moved across the grass... a hedgehog! We followed it for a while, until we realised our sculking behaviour might appear odd to other campers, and let the little creature go about its search for worms, insects and other such delicacies. My brother did manage to get a photo, but this was a poor substitute for Emma. She was so mad we didn't wake her up, when we told her about the hedgehog the next morning.

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