There were no rabbits to be seen when I arrived there yesterday afternoon and so, after I'd sat there for a while, I ended up taking a few pictures of the Ivy-covered tree above my head.
I'd already noticed some Wood Pigeons grazing nearby but I'd ignored them in favour of a possible rabbit. But since it was now getting late and they'd - by this time - walked up to within twenty yards of me, I reluctantly decided to change the plan. I took aim, waited till the closest one had turned to give me a clean shot and fired.
I'd run out in to the field to retrieve the bird - its feathers were spinning around me in the wind - and I was thinking that all of this commotion must surely mean the end of my evening's hunting. But no, when I finished plucking the bird and looked up I saw to my surprise that a rabbit had just appeared from a hedge about fifty yards away in the next field. I knew I couldn't hit it at that distance so I just sat and watched it through the scope for a while. To my surprise, it then ran towards me and stopped about twenty-five yards away. I'd been sitting with my elbow resting on the branches of a fallen tree and, while this had been fine for keeping an eye on the rabbit, the wind was moving the branch so much that I couldn't keep the cross-hairs steady enough for a shot. I shuffled sideways up towards the trunk of the tree, found a better support there and - despite some pre-shot jitters - fired again.
The rabbit was still kicking when I got to it so I had to grab it by the back legs and break its neck. Back in the orchard, I used the branches of the fallen tree to hold it up at waist height while I gutted it.
Walking back, my hands were messy with blood and feathers; seeing a rusty saucepan among the rest of the farm junk in the orchard, I turned it over in the hope I could use it as a washbasin next time and left it lying where it might collect some rain.
I've never come back from the fields with a rabbit and a pigeon before. The pigeon will make a good lunch tomorrow and the rabbit can soak overnight and make another two good meals after that.