Wednesday, 23 January 2013


A large flock of fieldfares has been flying around the village the last few days. While we usually see a lot of redwings in this weather, I don't normally see fieldfares in the village except when they fly overhead.

Occasionally the  flock settles in the cherry tree across the twitten where I can watch them from our bedroom window without disturbing them.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Winter Walk to Foredown Tower

Heavy snow yesterday. I planned to have a walk up to the Downs via the various twittens that would give me cover and also wildlife that I hoped to see.

I walked down the road and after 3 or 4 minutes I came to the first twitten, the snow was still heavy and the twitten provided relatively good cover from the snow and wind.
Gardens back onto the right hand side of the twitten, and a tall wooden fence borders the gardens. A squirrel leaped onto the fence with food it had obtained from one of the gardens
It sat on the fence eating its tasty morel. I have notice in the past that several of the gardens provide food for birds and other wildlife.

As I walked on I looked through the gap in the hedge on the right had side. Between the twitten and the houses were some small fields used to house ponies. It was still snowing heavily.
 I glimpsed some movement and continued watching and was rewarded by a fox
After a few minutes the fox disappeared into the shrubs. I carried on walking and came across another squirrel.
This one was using its tail as an umbrella.

There were many birds sheltering in the branches on both sides of the twitten. I looked carefully so as not to disturb them. These included sparrows, and great tits

A noisy flock of goldfinches flew into the upper branches of some trees.

A robin sheltered deep in the foliage, its red breast giving its location away.

The only birds that seemed relatively happy were the blackbirds that continued to forage in the leaf litter on the edges of the path.

I left the twitten and walked up the lane until I reached the main road a few minutes later.
Across the road was the lane that leads up to Foredown Tower and beyond to the South Downs

I walked up to the Tower and arrived on along the lane. Away from the shelter of the twitten the snow continued to fall and the wind had a bitter edge.

The ponies did not seem too bothered  by the weather with their winter blankets and ample supply of food.

The heavy snow gave a blurred view of the snow covered hills beyond

I headed back home to the shelter of the twitten. Few birds were flying in this exposed landscape but a flock of yellow hammers flew past close and low to the ground.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Yellow Hammer and Waxwings

The snowy weather often brings unusual birds into gardens and other urban habitats.
This morning at about 8.30am we spotted a yellow hammer searching for food along the edge wall of the pond, just outside our conservatory window.
It spent about 10 minutes, that we observed, as it foraged back and forth, often disappearing underneath the window sill.

A couple of hours later, as I walked down to the corner shop, I spotted this noisy flock of waxwings sheltering in a tree top.
This attractive starling sized bird is a winter migrant from northern Europe.