High above a buzzard flaps slowly and effortlessly above the moor. Suddenly from nowhere a curlew appears. It is smaller than the Buzzard, but I guess it has eggs near by, possibly chicks and its unhappy at the presence of the Buzzard. It escorts it away from the area, diving at it every so often, not to hit it, but just to encourage it to “push off”. The Buzzard continues on its way, unperturbed and disinterested in the attention, and satisfied that it no longer poses a threat, the Curlew peels off and returns to its nest.
Over the crest of the hill the Short-Eared Owl that we saw ten minutes previously re appears. It is no longer hunting but flying purposefully back across the valley. Through the binoculars I see that it is clutching a small furry creature. I ask Mrs BW if she wants to have a look, but she declines saying that she can get a better idea about how graceful and elegant it is with the naked eye.
A brown hare breaks cover and with slow lolloping strides reaches the safety of the undergrowth, pausing once or twice to look back at these strange intruders. As we enter the small wood, I leave the track to answer a call of nature. There in front of me hanging from a branch are the remains of a rabbit, eviscerated; it has obviously been dead for some time. The wood is strangely silent. It is dark, many of the trees lean at weird angles, and there is an uncomfortable lifeless feel to it. Back on the path and into the sunlight I catch Mrs BW up as a jay dashes from one patch of wood to another, a flash of pink and white.
We stop and sit for a while on the bench that overlooks the reservoir. There is no wind and the late evening sun feels warm. All appears to be peaceful in the Goyt. Appearances are deceptive.