Well what a month December has been so far, rain, more rain with odd moments when the weather has been kind. Underfoot walking round the village and farther afield is a challenge to say the least 3 steps forward and one step back if I’m lucky. It’s been a real mixed bag and the Stour has been flooded a couple of times and is running high pretty much all of the time.

Having said that I have still had those moments when it has been worth taking the camera and get a picture although few and far between. Early in the month we had a couple of frosty mornings but usually the weather deteriorated later in the day, but when I get chance I am ready to find a picture if I can!

Child Okeford and the Blackmore Vale from Hambledon Hill
Child Okeford and the Blackmore Vale from Hambledon Hill
Top of Hambledon Hill at dawn
Top of Hambledon Hill at dawn
Lime avenue and Chestnut trees now bare
Lime tree avenue and Chestnut trees now bare

I’m out well before dawn so it’s quite difficult to see the wildlife until it starts getting lighter, there are lots of birds about and they are easier to see now the leaves have all gone. Sometimes easy to identify by the shape like a Wren, the calls of the Buzzard and Tawny Owl and the  Green and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers but the Fieldfares and Redwings are difficult to tell apart, I see a flock of one of them near Abergavenny Farm feeding off the trees. One bird I am always pleased to see is the Barn Owl, they must be struggling with all this rain. Having said that I have several sightings in the area, one at Manston, Gains Cross, Shillingstone and Bere Marsh and even one in the middle of the day at the Sunrise Roundabout in Blandford in the middle of the day! One that I was really pleased to see is a Barn Owl I’ve spotted a few times at the back of the village, usually after a nights rain and I suppose it is hunting later than usual. I did manage to get an image if a little distant and it was still quite dark, but so pleased to see it.

Barn Owl
Barn Owl

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