Thursday, 2 December 2010

A walk in the snow

After the heavy snow during the night, the ground is now covered with a thick layer of snow, about 8 inches, more than we had last year. At 10.00am I went for a walk around the village to see what bird and animal life was about. I walked up the track but only encountered a few birds.
A small flock of sparrows were chattering in a snow covered bush.
Many birds, including crows, pigeons and starlings gathered around chimney pots for an extra bit of warmth.
A few redwing flew over, but too quick for my camera to focus. A solitary blue tit foraged in a tree.

At the end of the tack I turned left and left again taking me down the road to my house. As yesterday, I carried on past the house towards the old village. I saw three pied wagtails at different locations, bobbing their tail as they walked along in the snow.

 A passer by disturbed one and it flew up onto a roof top.

As I walked up towards Easthill Park I noticed movement in the branches. It was a tiny goldcrest, the smallest of our UK song birds.
As I watched I noticed a great tit higher up in the branches and the read breast of a robin. The goldcrest was very active and at one point was close enough for me to touch.

As I watched a squirrel bounded past in the snow and scampered

The snow in Easthill park was very thick, The horses next door in the horse sanctuary did not seem bothered by the snow.
Even thought plenty food had been provided for the horses, this one was eating foliage from a tree. A few birds visible, mainly pigeon, crow and a few starlings. The occasional herring gull also flew past.

I trudged through the thick snow to the wooded end of the park where there is a pathway through the trees. 
As I walked along the odd blackbird and blue tit flashed past. At the far end, another pied wagtail. 
I left the wooded path and was about to walk down the outside of the wooded area when I spotted a blackbird. It was feeding on berries.
It was soon joined by another male blackbird and a squabble broke out.

The squabble was short lived and one of the blackbirds flew away, possibly the intruder but it was as hard to follow as the magicians find the queen or the ball under the cup. The bird that remained started to eat the berries.
As I started to walk alongside the wooded area I spotted a red wing
 I carried on walking and as I passed underneath a particular large evergreen a flash of blue attracted by attention it was a blue tit. Then I spotted a great tit.
Many more appeared to be foraging in the higher branches occasionally sending down a small shower of snow.

I was then attracted by another small bird which I thought was another goldcrest. But looking at the photographs back home on the computer I think it might have been the rarer firecrest. (comments welcome)
As I walked back through the old village I noticed this female blackbird feeding on then berries from a garden.

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