Sunday, 28 December 2014

By eck it's gone a bit chilly

The Safari woke to the frostiest morning of the season so far.
We weren't able to get out until lunchtime by which time it was still frosty out of the sunniest places.
The hope was to get out into the hills to get close up an personal with some of the chilly white stuff but we didn't get out early enough so had to had a change of plan. That plan was to go back to the nature reserve and see if we could see more than one Long Eared Owl.
The walk down was tortuously slow with rheumaticy Frank in tow, so slow we wondered if we'd ever get the 200 yards down the track! Our 'speed' did give us a chance to enjoy a few Fieldfares in the Hawthorns.
The sun was out and the air warm away from the shadows. Look at the colour of the sky behind the Teasel heads!
There was a Goldfinch on them until we raised the camera...dohhh
We found the Long Eared Owl in exactly the same place as yesterday but took no pics as it was just as obscured although by manouvering the scope around we were able to get a glimpse of amber eye. There were neither many punters or other birds about but we did get a few other birders on to it.
Higher in the trees beyond the owl two Blackbirds tried to get the last of the Hawthorn berries.
Some were easier to reach than others
Also around were a Greenfinch, two Chaffinches, a couple of Goldcrests, a Robin keeping an eye on  proceedings, a Dunnock popped up and called its winter 'peeep', the large Willow tree was brief supermarket to a roving flock of Long Tailed Tits with a couple of Blue Tits thrown in. Behind us a Cetti's Warbler's song exploded from the reedbed and a Snipe flew over.
One particularly obnoxious dog walker appeared with his out of control spaniels coming towards us, fortunately he saw us stood on the path scoping the owl and turned back to leave the reserve. Moments later a Woodcock flew from that direction close by us, no doubt flushed from deep in the scrub by his dogs.
There were a couple of other target birds we'd liked to have seen so we moved on to the viewing platform to see what we could find. All the usually watery suspects were there but it was the gulls we were most interested in. The hope was that the Iceland Gull might drop in, it didn't, or a Mediterranean Gull with the large number of Black Headed Gulls, there wasn't but it was great fun searching.
A friend we've not seen for yonks turned up and promptly picked up some activity over the east fields, a Peregrine!
A couple of Cetti's Warblers fired up at each other and a Water Rail squealed.

Another great day on safari.
Where to next? More safari-ing somewhere tomorrow if perhaps only briefly
In the meantime let us know who's making the frost patterns in your outback.

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