There was an unexpected event on today’s five mile walk from Haslemere.
Nine of us set off from the town car park and headed east towards Swan Barn Farm en route to Grayswood. The leader drew our attention to the town’s well, just after the High Street, because most were unaware of its existence. It was a pool of water partly hidden in a recess in a wall covered by a vertical metal grille. We stopped to look at it and to read the plaque on the wall; in so doing we disturbed a small bird, a fledgling, which took off in fright and jumped through the grille into the water where it flapped around as if trying to be a duck. Unfortunately, it was not designed for an aquatic existence.
Its movements were not from drinking, as someone suggested, but from drowning. By the time we found a stick long enough to reach it, it floated motionless on the water. I fished it out but was too late to save it. Its short life had ended. I did not attempt mouth to beak resuscitation.