A few years ago, I moved out from my smart town centre flat (sorry, I think the developer would prefer me to call it an 'apartment') and moved to the country. Not the real country you understand, just a house a couple of miles out of town from where I can see fields and trees and go for a quick walk on something other than tarmac. Today reminded me exactly why I did that.
Working from home and in need of some air, I grabbed my bins and headed out for 20 minutes. In town I would have browsed a few shops, perhaps grabbed a coffee somewhere expensive, and then returned to my computer. But from where I live today I can stroll on to fields within a minute or two.
This afternoon, within five minutes of leaving the house, I had a huge flock of perhaps 500 Starlings roaring low over my head, gathered in a tight ball and then shape-shifting as only a flock of Starlings can. When they landed in some nearby trees they made an unbelievable noise - cacophony or music depending on your taste.
Fieldfares flew by in small groups, perhaps 150 in all, and small finches and tits dashed hither and thither. As I headed back to the house I noted a small mouselike movement on an oak tree trunk - I had found my first ever Radford Semele Treecreeper.
Refreshed, with air in my lungs and mud on my wellies, I returned to my computer a happier man.