A hidden gem
These are the best places in nature. The ones that are close to home. The places where you stroll on a regular evening. Where you know every little path and every tree. Where you can go to clear your mind after a long day of work and just be. Take a look with me at some of my favourite moments in the small woods close to my home.
This little nature park called 'The Palingbeek' close to home is rather special. Back in the day, my grandparents used to take us here to go for a walk. It was a place where we could play and explore. I think that this memory has always stuck with me and might enable me to appreciate this place even more.
Gorgeous sunset over the fields and the woods.
Another nice aspect of visiting a place all throughout the year, is the way you can see it changing. You see the same places change from the icy winter-months to the green spring, to the hot summer and the colourful autumn.Also the behaviour and the sightings of the wild animals is very distinct in each season. Where you might see tens of roe deers in the summer, you might only see one or two in the winter. Very shy, ready to run off in the forrest.
European Hornet, captured by the impeccable R6 autofocus...
In the sunlight, some of the best looking feathers.
The woods are full of life. You can see it everywhere. The birds are chirping, the squirrels are running around, the roe deers are grazing and the insects are buzzing.
Some of my favorite species
It's a real pleasure to be able to see a variaty of birds and other animals when you keep quiet.
At the same time, it always makes me a bit sad. The space for wild animals has become so small that the little woods we have are full of them. Especially on nice days when there are many people around a lot of animals are really restless.
Un lapin, chef.
Thorns are a safe place.
We have seen some beautiful bird species over the last year. We don't really care about how uncommon a specie is. Even very common birds can have some wonderful songs, behaviour or feathers.
One of the most spectacular encounter was a female black woodpecker that was hammering away on a tree. It was a very rare sighting and we were very lucky to see it. The woodpecker also didn't seem to mind us being there.
A rare black woodpecker
Cuckoo calling while watching the trees for response
There are always a lot of woodpeckers around. The great spotted woodpecker and the european green woodpecker are the most common ones and can be seen in large numbers.
Also one time we saw the rather rare cattle egret. The bioviversity in this small area is really amazing.
One time a couple of Cattle egrets flew in
This is just a small selection of the many birds we have photographed. Than there are also the many great birds that we have seen but didn't have the time to photograph before they flew away.
Besides the many gorgeous birds, there are also many squirrles and roe deer. The roe deer can be very shy, but that seems to depend on the season. In the summer they are very relaxed and you can get very close to them. In the winter they are very shy and run away as soon as they see you. The squirrels sit high in the treetops and often wait patiently for you to move on...
Small roe running by at sunrise
The typical winter look of a roe deer
In the summer the fur alomost looks orange
A relaxed roe deer during a perfect summer evening
Squirrels can often be seen around the park. They tend to be excellent at hiding. They do this in a very easy way. When they hear you coming, they go to the other side of the tree, out of sight.
A curious red squirrel early in the morning
One particular morning we were lucky enough to see a couple of them feeding at a hazelnut tree. They were very relaxed and didn't seem to mind us being there.
First you only see a tail and some moving leaves
Just eating away
Still keeping an eye on us
In conclusion, this is only one of the many beautiful places around. I hope that you will find your own hidden gem and that you will be able to appreciate it as much as I do. The beauty is all around us: during our commute, during a walk or in our backyard. Just take a look around, you'll see it.
Pheasant in the early hours
A quiet and peaceful place
During the day you can see woodpeckers everywhere