Low-Flying Aircraft

Out on the walk with Ollie yesterday, we were deafened by the sound of low-flying military aircraft.

We are not very far from RAF Marham, and they were obviously practicing ‘war’ with their new F-35 jets.

The sky was very grey on a gloomy day, and although I couldn’t see them, it felt as if the jets were incredibly low.

As we walked into the woodland, they made another pass, engines roaring. Their passage through the air made the tall thin trees quiver, with a sound like rice being shaken in a metal container. Seconds later, we were stood in a massive fall of small leaves, fluttering down around us like multi-coloured snowflakes.

Ollie headed off on a side track, and I followed him, having to bend low to get past branches that he could easily trot under. Moments later, with a sound like an approaching freight train, the jets returned for yet another swoop over Beetley Meadows. Noisier than before, that set all the birds squawking, and squirrels barking too. Seconds later, a Muntjac deer appeared from some bushes. He was only a few feet from us, and seemed to be trying to escape the jets.

When he spotted Ollie, he turned in his own length, and crashed into a thicket of Holly, ignoring the sharp leaves. Ollie yelped, and took off after him.

Ollie’s pursuit flushed out two more, and they ran straight past me, one so close I felt its rump brush my leg. They were followed by my excited dog, who had obviously decided that chasing two at once was more fun that trying to find one that had gone to ground. Those small deer are not much bigger than Ollie, but they are chunky enough to run through the toughest brambles and undergrowth.

Ollie was gone for almost ten minutes, and I stayed where I was, waiting for him to return. Once the three deer had all managed to evade him, he came running up to me, still looking excited. Maybe he thought I was going to find him some more?

But the low-flying aircraft had concluded their mission, so he had to be content with running into the river for a drink.

65 thoughts on “Low-Flying Aircraft

  1. Most of my questions were answered in the earlier comment section. Do you know who introduced them to England and when? Here we have a problem with starlings which are not native but were introduced for their ? (who knows what.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the answer online, Elizabeth.

      Muntjac were brought from China to Woburn Park in Bedfordshire in the early 20th century. They are now widespread and increasing in number and range. Deliberate releases and escapes from Woburn, Northamptonshire, and Warwickshire led to the establishment of feral populations. Movement and release by humans led to their rapid spread across south and central England and Wales, however, north of the Humber distribution is patchy but reaches close to the Scottish border.

      Woburn Abbey is a stately home owned by the Duke of Bedford. So we can blame his ancestors. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. An Ollie-sized deer, originally imported from Asia as a ‘novelty’. Now they are so ubiquitous, they are considered to be a pest. Fortunately, few people in the UK ever shoot a deer. πŸ™‚
      Thanks, dear Lara.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Kim. Still got the cough though.
      The small Ollie-sized deer are cute, but they do a lot of damage to nature, unfortunately. They are not native to the UK, and are an ‘introduced’ species.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They are increasingly common here, after being ‘introduced as a novelty.
      I don’t think they exist in the Americas.
      This from Wikipedia.
      Muntjacs, also known as barking deer or Mastreani deer, are small deer of the genus Muntiacus native to south and southeast Asia. Muntjacs are thought to have begun appearing 15–35 million years ago, with remains found in Miocene deposits in France, Germany and Poland. It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely deer! I don’t think I have ever seen a Muntjac. I remember those jets when we holidayed in Norfolk, they seemed to be fairly regular in their forays. We occasionally get some overhead here, like you often heard but not seen, they really to upset the local birdlife. I thought ours came from the naval base RNAS Culdrose near Helston, though when I look at the site it only shows Merlin helicopters so maybe they come from elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have antelope, Elk, and mule deer. I have never seen a Munjac deer. I can imagine how unsettling the noise from overhead. Still, I think they are amazing to see. We get maneuvers flying low by us. To see them in the air speeding by is impressive. I wish I was in the pilot seat. Of course, every now and then is fine. Experiencing it on a daily basis as a civilian would be a bit much. I’d never buy property by an airport. Glad you are out and about.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We are around 15 miles from the RAF air base, and only affected by the low flying occasionally. We are nowhere near any civilian airports, with the closest in Norwich, which doesn’t affect us.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know how big a fan I am of your writing, but I have such a soft spot for Ollie-themed posts. I don’t have a dog on my current post, but I have have something very cute which I hope interests you πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    1. No, not my photos. I don’t have a long-enough lens for jets, and never seem to have a camera when I spot any deer. πŸ™‚
      I just added them for people who might not know what they looked like.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We live by a couple of RAF bases, and regularly get some wonderful low flying craft near us! I couldn’t tell you what they are, and we have only had a small number of what I would call “fighter” type craft (much like your image) but we often see a couple of regular old war style bombers, and because we are under their flight path, we get the Red Arrows occasionally too! They fly low over the house on their way to an event, and that gives me the indication to get my camera ready for their return! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is rarely clear enough to see the aircraft, Robbie. But we have got used to the occasional noise.
      My cold is a lot better, thanks. I just have to get rid of the cough. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.


  5. I remember walking the fells in Cumbria and seeing the jets flying in the valleys below me, giving a birds eye view of the pilot in the cockpit. Very exciting back then when I was young, I don’t think I would appreciate them in the same way now πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Trust mankind to upset the uneasy solitude of nature , and you were a helpless observer while Ollie followed his natural instincts.
    Years ago I had a young fast whippet ( no flat cap though) one day he caught and killed a grey squirrel as it tried to escape up the trunk of a beech tree. For me it was a bloody act , for him as natural as falling of a log.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like Ollie feels good….and how about you? I wish I could take MoMo to the woods but she is the color of a deer and around here they shoot first and check out their target later. Those jets can be irritating I live about 3 miles from a training site and they make that irritating noise all Summer long. .John has found me on Twitter…..chuq

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still have a cough, chuq. But Ollie has to go out. πŸ™‚
      Shooting around here is reserved for game birds mostly. There are certainly no hunters in the small woodland section of Beetley Meadows, fortunately.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

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