Well we are nearly into mid January and the weather still hasn’t been good. Wet or grey with the occasional glimmer of sunshine. Out on my morning walk it’s been challenging to say the least and I’m writing this as Storm Brendon arrives with rain and wind lashing the windows. But it has been mild for the time of year and very unseasonal I’m still waiting for some nice frosty mornings. All around I am seeing signs of an early spring, birds singing well before dawn, a couple of Celandines flowering, bulbs sending up their leaves as are the Cuckoo Pint plants among others.
I’ve noticed some tree and shrub buds swelling and some Hazel Catkins are lengthening ready to shed their pollen, much too early!
Although the weather has been quite indifferent, when there is a slight change I have seen some lovely sunrises and sunsets. On Sunday 12th January I walked along the Traiway and up the bridleway to New Cross, I watched as the full Wolf Moon set over the hill a spectacular sight and then opposite that the sun rising through the clouds with a lovely colourful sunrise.
I had walked up the Trailway hoping to see the Barn Owl, it had been a rainy night and on the morning after he is often out later than usual. I wasn’t disappointed as he flew down the track towards me back to his roost, unfortunately it was too dark to get an image of him on the move but a lovely experience. As I came back there was a Greater Spotted Woodpecker high in a tree with the early morning sun just starting to light up the bird as were the Redwings, there is quite a flock near Bere Marsh Farm.
I’ve also seen a Red Kite flying near Hambledon Hill on several occasions early in the morning with it’s distinctive forked tail.
Close to home there are a number of birds coming into feed, not so much of a variation as previous years but still quite a few, maybe due to the mild weather. The Sparrowhawk is still around the garden, I just spotted it swooping across one day, but it wasn’t lucky catching anything at the time. The Blackbirds are back in numbers squabbling in the garden and on the road. We are seeing a couple of Wrens who come on the feeders regularly, such pretty little birds. We have a flock of Longtailed Tits passing through regularly they are here and gone in a short time. The Starlings are still about, but not as many now and unfortunately the Jackdaws are about again causing havoc. The Grey Squirrel was in the trees near to home and was being bothered by Jackdaws, they are a pain, not that Grey Squirrel’s are saints but we don’t get them in our garden, luckily.