Another dark morning, it seems that it never actually gets light before night sets in again.
Sheep have been roaming outside the fences for the last week, quite a few on the marsh, enjoying the sea washed turf.
There was a good morning last week and as soon as the sun began to rise the mist appeared.
On the way back yesterday, trying to miss the deep water, we came across a recently killed toad ,probably Carrion Crow, how they still manage to find them at this time of the year?
Boxing Day and weather permitting we usually take a wee dram,nibbles & coffee to savour at the feeders. We both raise a glass to all our readers and wish you all the best for the new year. The heavy rain we seem to have had for months has seen the ponds at their deepest for years causing them to overflow on to the paths.Will they ever return to normal ? It will take a couple of months of dry conditions to do so.
Last week Bri and myself saw the three roe deer, a mother and her two young, one is a young buck. Also a picture of Bri lining up his image of the heron in a recent blog.
Well what a contrast of weather over the last couple of days; Tuesday saw a beautifull warm sunny day with little wind,but also very little wildlife on the move.Today brought a horrible day,heavy rain and wind but also the sight of three roe deer,two does and a young buck.As they galloped over the heather they disturbed a short eared owl which I watched for a while hunting low over the ground.Hope it was successful!.Tuesdays walk around the reserve culminated in our annual gathering at Geofs ( Bill,Bob,Brian,Geof and myself) and a very merry time it was. Seasons Greetings to all our Readers.
What a beautiful morning, a little sun and no wind, the reflections in the ponds were superb, managed one photo with a wind swept tree.
One photo of Scafell with a small covering of snow.
There was a small bird on a bush along the track to the tip, but we were not sure what type, possibly a young Stonechat any confirmation please.
We also spotted some orange wax like fungus on a stump of a Gorse bush, what type is it?.
The rain this w/e is lying on top of the already sodden ground, one of the smaller ponds is almost overflowing, how the small mammals and hibernating insects are going to survive is difficult to see but we will have to wait and see the outcome next year.
The Yellow Bartsia appears to thrive in the wet and all the known areas are well under water this year, will it be a bumper crop next year ??
The Bullfinches are slowly building up there numbers at the feeders, with three female and three male, last year the total was six male and four female.
Just made it back this morning before the rain started, the ground was starting to dry out, wellies are still the required footwear if wandering off the main paths.
Yesterday there were forty to fifty Teal in the south east corner of the long pond, it was the only unfrozen patch of water. There were sixty on the pond this morning, probably keeping out the way of the wildfowlers. Couple of photos attached.
We are having to book our place at the seat, it’s being taken over by a robin, see photo.
Still going through last years photos and came across one of Beau the border collie in the snow, he seems to have developed a nasty cough.
Another beautiful crisp morning, but fairly quiet on the walk round, just spotted a Heron on one of the islands enjoying the morning sun.
The feeders were busy again, really need a slow motion camera to catch all the action.
Still trawling through old photos from 2011 and came across one of a Barn Owl perched in a tree. At the time it looked like any other Barn Owl but a few weeks later something caught my eye, on it’s right leg there was a leather fob with an open padlock still in place, see blown up view. We had seen this owl hunting in the area for a few weeks before so it was managing to survive but shortly after the photo was taken it disappeared. This year Barn Owls have been seen just south of the actual site, we had been hoping one of the boxes would be taken, but there is always next year, maybe we will have to drop the rent.
Well as Bri has stated at the feeders our feathered friends have been taking full advantage of the bounty provided by us. It is surreal to stand there filling the feeders and watch the birds sometimes only 3 of 4 feet away from us waiting patiently as we top them up. Today we had bullfinches, chaffinches, blue, great and coal tits, goldfinches, greenfinches, robins, reed buntings, blackbirds and dunnocks all together with an odd display of petulance usually by the goldfinches and occasionally the blackbirds. Also today we heard the plaintive call of the secretive water rail. Last thursday we saw two ravens perhaps driven down to the coast looking for food from the snow covered high fells of lakeland.
And on the same day we put up a partridge…….now there is a pear tree on the reserve…..do I hear a song in the offing?
Another beautiful crisp cold day, with a few teal on the long pond and also on the large Natterjack scraping, while watching these we noticed a Mistle Thrush stood on the ground enjoying the morning sun and away from the bitter wind.
Lots of birds at the feeders again, the numbers vary from day to day but if it is cold and sunny they turn out and if dull and wet they don’t bother, just stay under the duvet.
This afternoon there were a flock of Lapwing on the old pitch and put field and they seem to be finding plenty of food.