On Thursday 25th November there were beautiful clear skies, although a bitterly cold wind. I decided to go for a little outing, not too far but just towards Fontmell Down hoping to see some bird life. As I went up Sutton Hill I spotted a few Redwings and Fieldfares in the hedgerows. I was going to stop there but unfortunately the local Pheasant shoot appeared so I decided to move on. I went towards Melbury Down and as I was driving along I noticed a number of Red Kites flying above me. I couldn’t stop easily as there was only passing places so I managed to stop at the entrance to Melbury Down where there is a rough parking area. I walked on to the down and decided to keep to the top, the valley is so steep there I thought I may struggle to get up again!
It worked out fine as I could walk back towards where I had seen the Kites along the top. One time I could see at least eight flying around. I managed to get fairly close unfortunately the sun was not helpful at all I struggled to get some images as they soared above the valley, but they were lovely to spend some time with before they disappeared in different directions. I did manage to get some images with a promise to return when it wasn’t so bright.
I also spotted a Kestrel hovering, right into the sun so difficult to get a good exposure but lovely to watch him hunting.
As I walked along the top of the valley I noticed a herd of Fallow deer below me, they looked as though they were youngsters I could see antlers just forming on some of them. What amazed me was the differing colours from the white leucistic one to nearly black deer. They knew I was there and they slowly headed over the hill. An extra bonus seeing them!
I soon had to head off home as I had to go out in the afternoon, the time soon goes when you are enjoying the wildlife but I hope to get up there soon and see them again.