Here’s some of the birds………
Christmas Eve, and this poor Snipe had found 90% of the lake at Willen frozen. Very little else around in the bitter cold. Just a couple of unfrozen patches of the lake, which were crammed with ducks and geese; no doubt like the high street with people.
Moving on to the next local that morning, Caldecote. A smaller lake, with houses around, which I guess managed to keep most of the water from freezing over because of the higher temperature. The ever-present Robin was easily coaxed nearer with a handful of seed.
A wintering Chiffchaff was hiding amongst some bushes, but managed to briefly show himself for a picture.
And as I left for home, a Treecreeper flew to a nearby tree, beginning his spiral ascent.
Boxing Day was spent at one of my favourite reserves, Summer Leys. For a change it lived up to the first part of its name; the sun shone for a couple of hours. Most of the waterfowl were on the far side of the lake, which would have meant walking round, and shooting into the sun, so I just strolled round half the lake seeing what was about. Not many pictures to show for my visit; it was just good to be out, and a bonus to see plenty of Yellowhammers in the hedges. These red listed birds with their canary yellow heads glistening like gold in the sun, were a treat to see.
Lots of Fieldfare and Redwing around, being very uncooperative as usual.
They’d almost stripped the bushes clean of berries, but this Blackbird seemed pleased with himself after his acrobatics paid of with a juicy berry.
Most of the snow had cleared, except for the path round the lake. Very slippery, and walking was a slow process. Then something that you hope will never happen. Even at a slow pace, I managed to go crashing down. Thank goodness the camera landed on me and not the icy path. A quick check on the camera as I sat on the cold ice, and then back on my feet; slooooowly.
I inched my way along to a small hide just up ahead, for a sit down and a more thorough check on the camera. And rest my leg, which was beginning to sting a little.
A Dunnock sat gazing at me, as I checked the camera.
Everything seemed to be working ok. A couple of shots at different settings, and all worked as they should. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. A few Tree Sparrows sat in the hedge, waiting for their turn at the feeders,
and then something caught my eye in some shallow water.
A Water Rail slowly picking his way along. Not seen one of these for a while, and never managed a decent picture.
‘Please come back’, I thought to myself.
He did; eventually. Parading up and down beneath one of the feeders.