There it was. A blur of blue and orange.
Did you see that?
I haven’t seen one for years – get your camera ready, it will be back soon.
We waited, quietly, still like statues. The water gently burbled and babbled beside us. Not that deep nor all that wide, but enough that we’d needed to use a fallen tree as a makeshift bridge across this New Forest stream, the ford too deep with recent rainfall to navigate on foot.
What did you see?
A Kingfisher, it will be back soon.
We waited, patiently. Nature came and went, we waited some more. The trees rustled in the cool summer breeze and we waited.
Whoosh. That same blur, heading in the other direction now. Electric blue and burning orange.
Did you see it?
Did you get a photo?
Doesn’t matter, you saw it.
Yes, it was beautiful.
A Sparrowhawk flys past, clutching something fluffy in its talons. It’s something neither of us has seen in the wild before. It’s a wonderful sight, if not a wonderful experience for the fluffy meal.
The previous evening, a damp Friday night, we had found ourselves flicking through the programmes on BBC iPlayer looking for something to watch. Finding old episodes of One Man and His Campervan we’d settled down with a bottle of wine to watch Martin drive his old bay window camper through the New Forest, camping at Hollands Wood campsite.
It looked lovely and we were inspired. First thing Saturday we had jumped in the van with a plan that lacked in any kind of originality and made our way south to the New Forest to get ourselves a pitch at Hollands Wood.
And what a fantastic weekend it was, the forest was green and vibrant and bursting with life. Newborn foals, just getting used their gangly legs, wobbled after their mothers while cows munched contentedly at the roadside grass. Donkeys invaded the nearby village of Brockenhurst. And birds of prey flew past, clutching fluffy things.
Thank you television!