We suddenly seem to be into winter, the leaves have all gone and the days are shortening, the weather is changeable with plenty of rain and the Stour has reached it’s banks already a couple of times. The paths I walk on are very muddy in places.

Tilly and I are out for a walk well before dawn, which is close to 8 o’clock now, we go out just before 7 there is just a hint of light in the sky depending on the cloud cover.

Manor field
Manor field

Tuesday 4th December was one of those clear mornings, although when I looked out there was a mist lying in our valley. I decided to walk up Hambledon Hill. As I walked through Manor field the sky was beautiful with the Moon on it’s back and Venus showing over the Lime Avenue.

Sunrise, Hambledon Hill
Sunrise, Hambledon Hill

As we reached the top of Hambledon Hill the sun was just appearing and again the light and colour was beautiful, we crossed over to the other side of the hill and the sky was just as special. I’m so pleased I went up as the forecast was not so good for a few days.

Child Okeford and the Blackmore Vale
Child Okeford and the Blackmore Vale

Being out early means I have to use different senses to my sight to know what wildlife is about especially on a cloudy damp morning. It was like it this morning on the 6th Tilly and I left home about 6.50am I soon heard a Tawny owl in the trees near the lane. As I walked through the village I could smell a Fox who had probably been just in front of me. I did spot Mum and twins Roe deer at the back of Portman drive disappearing with their white behinds just showing.

As I walk towards Shroton Brake I hear other wildlife, the Rooks start moving and calling, a Buzzard is already up in the sky with his distinctive sound. As it gets lighter the smaller birds are declaring their territory, a Wren giving a warning signal, Robin and Dunnock in the hedgerow singing plus others that I can’t always recognise. As the light comes in a silhouette of a greater Spotted Woodpecker flying across the sky with their distinctive flight. As I near Hambledon Hill the Crows are in the field feeding I hear the call of a Green Woodpecker. So even if I can’t take pictures I can enjoy the wildlife and try and identify all the sounds around me.

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