Sunrise 08:02 Sunset 16:40 GMT

The cold snap continues, we even had a flurry of snow this morning in Dorset! The wild birds are getting closer to home. I’ve had Goldfinches feeding on the Teasels and Redwings, which are very striking birds, with Starlings just in the field from the back of the house, I can watch them as I’m washing up! I had a walk round the village and I spotted lots of birds, normally they keep themselves well hidden. The Kestrel was about, I hope to get a picture soon when the light gets better. I saw a number of Wrens in the hedgerows, Blue tits, Great tits, Long tailed tits, Chaffinches, Bullfinches to name a few and of course Robins they are always about. I must have a wander around the village with my camera and try and get some pictures.

Robin
Robin

Yesterday we had to visit our local town to get some shopping, it was a glorious morning so I took my camera and we had walk along the River Stour to see what we could in the way of wildlife. We had hardly reached the river when we spotted a Sparrow hawk and realised that there was a flock of small birds, around 20-30 hounding it, they were very brave but all survived. I managed to get a couple of photos if a little hurried. When I got home I realised that the birds were Goldfinches.

Sparrow hawk & Goldfinches
Sparrow hawk & Goldfinches
Sparrow hawk & Goldfinches
Sparrow hawk & Goldfinches

We continued along the river and spotted a Kingfisher, there are a number of them along this stretch of river, again I managed to get a couple of images but there is definitely room for improvement!

Kingfisher with fish
Kingfisher with fish
Kingfisher in flight
Kingfisher in flight

As we headed towards the weir we noticed a few people looking into the water below the weir and sure enough when we got there there was a mum with two Otter cubs swimming along the opposite bank.

Otter with one cub
Otter with one cub

They swam for a while and then began to swim across the river to the bank we were on. Stopping by the reeds in the middle of the river and then continuing towards us. Mum was keeping a watchful eye of us and the two cubs but she still continued to the base of the weir.

Otter
Otter
Otter and Cub
Otter and Cub
Mum watching
Mum watching

The weir is running quite fast at the moment and mum got the cubs into a side drainage channel that comes out at the top of the weir, unfortunately one of the cubs lost it’s way and there was a lot of calling for some time eventually they were all reunited and had to cross a short stretch of grass, quite hazardous as there are dogs and people about, but mum made the crossing dragging one baby into the water as it was reluctant and they swam on upstream disappearing into the overhanging trees. I’m glad they made it, what a wonderful sight, we are so lucky to see them. I did not take pictures and stepped back of them crossing as mum was very nervous. I was quite cross that the “wildlife” photographers with their big lenses didn’t do the same, but it’s all about the picture. I know it’s only a few as most of them respect the wildlife I hope.

Waiting at the entrance
Waiting at the entrance
Waiting at the entrance
Waiting at the entrance

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