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Arctic Diary: Tracking Wolves | July 25 | True Identity


Entering our final 10 days, we took stock of what material we had filmed and what we needed to capture, which we would concentrate on in the last few days.

Our hide, dubbed the “sweat box”, was moved from near Sally the snowy owl up to the fox den where Mark and producer “H” were concentrating their efforts.

There had been little sign of the wolves except for three young ones who came back to the den to rest and play for about 24 hours before disappearing. We’re all hoping to see them again before we leave.

The whole of River Three was covered with chicks – ruddy turnstone, sandpipers, jaegers and snow bunting – all being protected by their parents as they wandered around the riverbeds.

It’s amazing what pluck some of the parents have. I was driving the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) down to the beach on a test run, having fixed the vehicle, and to my astonishment this ruddy turnstone leapt out in front of me apparently pretending to have a hurt wing.

I slammed on the brakes coming to a halt less than one metre from the bird and saw that she’d been protecting her young chicks a couple of metres further on. Lovely to see!

In my previous entry, I promised to reveal the real identity of “H”. He is, in fact, Harry Hoskyns-Abrahall, who has just turned 32 years old. We celebrated by cooking him real pancakes.

He is a seriously all-round good egg, as far as I am concerned. Dashingly handsome, six feet and five inches tall, a thick head of dark hair, complete with square jaw, kind blue eyes and good teeth – if he was a horse I’d buy him.

Harry’s a really nice guy and a knowledgeable and truly dedicated wildlife enthusiast. Fergus – the boss in Bristol, you may remember – refers to him as his “feral friend”.

“H” is the one who sits for hours on end, some way away from the hide, advising Mark about what’s happening around him so Mark can capture the event on video.