AN ICY WALK IN BEAUTIFUL SUNSHINE
WEATHER: a beautiful clear day with bright sunshine, no wind and a heavy frost. Temp -1C to +4C
Dawn and I planned to travel to Exeter yesterday (18th) but a heavy snow shower started just as we were about to leave, so we abandoned our trip.
Today I was due to zoom across to Ham Wall to look for a Lesser Scaup and a pair of Garganey (yes, Garganey, they are wintering on the levels!!!) but I decided to give that miss due to the frosty conditions on the roads.
no wonder that my sunflower hearts disappear so quickly - this greedy Nuthatch takes two or three at each visit!
So when it warmed up this morning I went for a walk along the local lanes in search of new species for my Stoford year-list, but most of all, I wanted to try to photograph Redwings and Fieldfares, I just love watching those winter thrushes.
Phez 2 - I gave him extra seeds today
My garden was extra busy this morning, I saw both Wren and Song Thrush which were new for the garden list this year and the activity around the feeder was busy like Picadilly Circus.
Phez 2 with his female companion
Fez 2, my fairly-tame Pheasant and regular garden visitor to my garden, brought his girlfriend with him today, I gave them extre food today because of the cold. Joining them on my lawn was three Wood Pigeons and a Crow. A pair of Magpies, three Jackdaws and a second Crow sat in the sycamores but they were too scared to drop down onto the lawn.
After my garden watch I walked along Mill Lane to Old Mill House, the garden of the Old Mill is surrounded by tall conifers and I noticed that a Godlcrest was feeding in them. The Mill pond and the adjoining stream held a couple of Mallards but not a Kingfiser or a Grey Wagtail I'n afriad.
Rabbits were finding enough to eat
In the Horse paddock above the Mill Lane I saw a few Blackbirds, flighty Redwings and a couple of Rabbits. The lake at Barwick House was frozen over, it was comical sight to see a pair of Mute Swans slipping and sliding as they walked on the fozen water. At the far end of the lake, where it is sheltered by trees a dozen Mallards, four Moorhens and a couple of Little Grebes shared a small area of unfrozen water.
you can just about make out the Swans on the ice of Barwick Lake
In the grounds of Barwick House I watched Jackdaws, a Common Buzzard, Herrings Gull flying over and a distance Sparrowhawk being harrassed by Crows. Two Ravens flew over me as I walked back towards home.
the digi-scoped Swans walking on ice
Most of the fields were now devoid of frost after the sun had warmed the air and earth, a large mixed flock of Redwings and Fieldfares flew up into the hedge along the lane ahead of me. I used my super-stealth skills and got close enough to flush them all, Ha!
Further down the lane I saw Roe Deer in a meadow below me and some more thrushes on the ground in the meadows.
This time I got pictures of both species of thrush and also saw Goldfinches, Chaffinches and a small flock of Long-tailed Tits. I got home in time for lunch, a visit to the Mother-in-law took up the rest of the daylight.