Just a meander

A sunny and warm day. Fluffy clouds skidding across the sky. A walk around the pools of Cranwich just because we can. No need for an early arrival or for putting up and monitoring mist nets (not that doing that is not fun). Just a meander along the path listening to the birds in the surrounding trees and reeds, watching them paddle around the pools. Cetti’s warbler, reed warbler, reed bunting and chiff chaff sing. Tufted duck, mallard, coot and Canada geese paddle. A hobby soars through the sky in hot pursuit of its dragonfly prey.

A meander to watch dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies flitting between grass stems or zipping across open water. Along the bare ground of the path a holly blue butterfly settles for a moment before flicking up and round, then settling again. Joined by meadow browns and small whites flittering over the grassy area between the pools. Blue and blue tailed damselflies dart from grass stem to grass stem. A large dragonfly, a hawker of some species, zooms past not even pausing for a second.

Holly blue butterfly

On a small pool a pair of mute swans gracefully float on rippling black water. Bordered by blades of bright green reeds, against a backdrop of trailing leaves of willow and alder. Brilliant white feathers stand out in stark contrast to the dark water. And there nestled on mothers back, protected by strong powerful wings, are two small grey heads. Cygnets hitching a ride while mum and dad feed. A safe, secure place for a doze in the morning sun.


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