My pet blackcock has been standing in this position since ten o’clock this morning. The only slight variation on this theme have been his eyelids, which close periodically as part of a staggered pattern of blinks. An American might describe this activity as “catchin’ some rays”, but one thing is certain; that nothing looks smarter than a blackcock in the sunshine.
Today is being billed as the hottest day of the year so far, but there was still a crisp coolness to my walk over the hill at half past five this morning. A single blackcock was lekking invisibly in a fold of haggs and broken ground, but the main stars of the morning were cuckoos, which kept up an incessant pulse of noise which almost threatened to overwhelm the skylarks. I was furiously barked at by a roe deer, then was back in my office by 7am.