From the soaring heights reached by the circling red kite, to the lowly depths on the dyke wall inhabited by a bank vole, the fauna of these parts continue to enchant.
We were bemused by what we took to be the pursuit of a leisurely gliding heron by the red kite. While interrogating Google to see if a kite would ever take a heron (thinking it seemed unlikely), I came upon this piece from Co Mayo, Ireland, which might throw some light on what the kite was actually after.
It seems that red kites aren’t particularly good predators, as such, often preferring carrion. It may have been that this red kite was lurking behind the heron in anticipation of its capture of a bank vole, whereupon it might seek to steal the dead prize out from the beak of the large and ungainly bird. Talk about an opportunist!
And we didn’t know what on earth was making all the burrow holes along the dyke wall until we found out more about the fauna of the Glen Kens in the Dumfries and Galloway Mammal Handbook. Finally the picture has come together. I imagine that we walkers were wrecking the heron’s chance of spying an available vole, as it sailed off to parts of the marshland that are probably unsullied by human encroachment, the kite in its own rather lackadaisical pursuit.
Life is not very hurried, these days, and so we have more time than we’ve ever had before to ponder and ruminate on how lives intersect. In our younger days, we were so busy! Rushing around from hither to yon, desperate to complete this or that errand, task, responsibility. There was joy in the successful fruition of our projects, of course.
But there’s also joy in quiet contemplation, and delight that stretches from the ground below our feet into the clouds above.
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