Had a good last shift at work today. Weather was really overcast all morning, and I was kept busy in the office with paperwork and drivers. About lunchtime blue sky started showing, and as I'd been such a good Wino all morning, I took myself off for a break down to the paddocks to see my horsey chums. Nelson has become a bit of a bully towards me, he'll tug at my hi-vis jacket and nibble my arm. I read up on it and I'm completely at fault. Because I nearly always give him a carrot or pear when I see him, he now expects that all the time. Lesson learnt by moi, all the horses will now get one treat per day now, and I'll try to fit in as many visits without treats as well, so they don't just see me as an easy touch. Star and Stevie were as welcoming as ever, and new girl Kate is a little darling, so gentle that when she takes a pear from you, she'll take a small bite of it first, then take the rest out of the palm of your hand. Nelson just takes the whole pear.
I had my camera with me, and started taking snaps around the paddocks. Only a handful of Redwing and Fieldfare remain now, and they stay over the other side so no decent pics for me. I spotted three birds sitting on top of a tree on the far end of the paddocks, fired off a couple of pics, zoomed in on them, and found they were Waxwings ! Could only see these three birds, but apart from a brief sighting back in late November when five flew over the yard, this was the first time I'd seen them at work. Upside was they were very stationary, downside was there was two fences between me and the tree they were in, so all my pics (except one hastily taken photo) were from a distance. As I was taking photo after photo after photo, I heard a rumble behind me. A Skip lorry was coming up the avenue. Skip Man has his own little muddy yard at the back of the paddocks, where he keeps his empty skips. He stopped and asked me what I could see so I pointed out the Waxwings, and as I did one flew down onto brambles right level with his truck. I managed to grab one quick shot before it spooked and went back to the tree top. Skip Man then proceeded to tell me all the wildlife he sees at the back of the yard, including a Little Owl that perches on some old machinery. He pointed me in the right direction then ambled off. I watched the Waxwings for another half an hour before the phone started ringing and I had to make my way back to the office.
Two hours later I managed to get away again and shot back down the paddocks but the Waxys had gone. I couldn't relocate them anywhere.There are no berry bushes or trees in the paddocks, so I had half expected them to fly off.
From the fields at the very far end I had a large Buzzard come up and start soaring but the sun was against me, and all the photos I got were just silhouettes. A Wagtail was very obliging, and a large flock of Linnets and Chaffinches were also showing well, but again the light was against me and I couldn't photograph the Linnets very well at all. Turning away quite disappointed I spotted a Kestrel sitting on the fence. He didn't see me, so I did get some lovely pictures of him. In the low light his colouring was beautiful.
So a good end to my four shifts at work. In a funny sort of way I'm really looking forward to going back in four days time. Cant wait to investigate the old machinery where Skip Man sees the Little Owl ! Might even pop down to work on one of my days off !
Got a lie in tomorrow so enjoying an bottle of Blossom Hill Crisp and Fruity Rose.
|Waxwings one and two.....|
|and Waxwing number three|
|Linnets......and a Chaffinch or two|
|Waxwing as he landed in front of the Skip lorry|
|Kate having a roll around|
|Goldcrest in the paddock|
|Beautiful male Kestrel|
|and last but by no means least, Nelson !|