I go out every morning with Tilly in the mornings early regardless of the weather or light, most of the time I carry my camera ‘just in case’ although at this time of the year the light is too poor much of the time to take a picture. It has been like this so far in December with grey skies, although at night the stars have been shining!
This post is called Snippets or should it be Snipe…ets? A few sightings in the pre dawn gloom, even though it is semi dark I do see something interesting most days so I thought I’d just record them here. One of my most interesting ones was a Snipe, we have one overwintering down by the river, he usually makes me jump as he is well hidden in the edge of the steam and when he flies up suddenly and darts across the sky away from me it is always a surprise. I did get a better view of him, if it’s the same one in Netmead field, flying away as usual but it was light enough to see the colours of his feathers.
Another sighting is the occasional Little Egret in the flooded field by the river. The stream is choked up with vegetation and has diverted into the field so there is quite a wet area now which will probably stay for the winter. I see Mallards there sometimes and one morning a Heron.
I often see a Kestrel hovering above the fields just before dawn near Netmead and the lane.
There is plenty of bird song before dawn and I try and pick up the different species. I can identify the common ones but I still need to brush up on the less common species. There are always Rooks coming from their roost, Crows, Magpies a distant call of a Green Woodpecker and today I heard a Greenfinch. The Robin is always singing early in the morning, Wrens in the base of the hedgerows and Blue Tits in the trees and plenty of Blackbirds squabbling.
Always a special sighting is the Barn Owl. I had heard that he had been seen close to our village but I saw him heading towards Hayward’s bridge and then he turned back towards his roost in the Barn flying past me, why I bothered to lift the camera I’m not sure, habit probably. The picture I got was quite erethral the silent hunter!
I was also lucky to spot a number of birds high in the tall hedgerow, I had an idea they were Bullfinches. I managed to get a picture even though they were a distance away and sure enough there were three male Bullfinches and there was one out of the picture.
So some days what I don’t see in quantity I observe or hear quality, so it’s never a wasted walk and I know Tilly enjoys herself as do I!