The ground that had remained frozen this last week had began to thaw and as the temperature rose the ground got softer. May be not the best time to be heading out on a circuit through woodland and fields that sit on top of the clay vales at the foot of the Chiltern escarpment then.
The Ridgeway long distance path runs along the base of the Chilterns at this point and I remembered how difficult the going was when I walked it a few years back, especially after it had been churned up by four by fours. Thankfully we were on footpaths and the ground was, by comparison, relatively easy going. I did begin to appreciate where the phrase 'feet of clay' seemed to come from by the end of the day.
Feet of clay
The blustery wind helped the aerial displays of red kites that were successfully re-introduced to the area in the 1990's. Gracefully gliding on gusts of wind they were relatively easy to capture on a compact digital camera but in doing so I burnt out a set of rechargeable batteries in the process.
The guidebook hinted that we might see greater spotted and green woodpeckers in the woodland but on this occasion it was not to be. However we were content with watching the aerial antics of the red kites above the fields as we crossed them.