I woke to thick frost everywhere this morning, and it was bitterly cold. Got to work, and it really looked like it had been snowing. But as the sun got higher, the frost thawed, and the birds came out to play. I managed half an hour in the paddocks in the morning, and an hour in the afternoon, around my work duties. One of the best moments was when Star and I were having a chat at the fence, near her water tank, and all these Starlings, completely unaware I was there (maybe they think I look like a horse !!?!?.......actually, don't answer that !) came down and started bathing in the muddy puddle caused by an overflow in the tank. Water was flying up left, right and centre.
|Starling bath time|
There were also really high numbers of Fieldfares today. Over 40 were at the back of the paddocks, with a few individuals a bit nearer. When I went back in the afternoon, I managed to grab this photo below by hiding behind Stevie. It wasn't until I downloaded it, that I realised in the background are a couple of rabbits.
|Fieldfares in afternoon sun, with rabbits in background|
Nelson and Kates owner turned up while I was there this morning, and while we were having a chinwag about the horses, the male Kestrel flew over our heads and settled in its usual tree. He really is an incredibly photogenic bird.
We get quite a few Ring-necked Parakeets over the yard and paddocks, but I don't often see them perching. This fine male below, hadn't seen me when I entered the paddock in the afternoon, so I managed to quite a decent shot of his profile, including that stunning long tail, before he spooked and flew off squawking.
Last, but by no means least, are some photos of Kate. I'm always raving on about Nelson and Star and Stevie, but poor Kate always gets left out. Shes still fairly new, so Ive been letting her get to know me and my camera. Today she posed for me, still in her coat, and showed me just how beautiful she is. She's all different colours. Her nose is almost the same colour as Nelsons, but it blends into a much darker brown. And look at those huge soppy eyes, she really is a lovely docile mare. As it was such a nice day, Nelsons and Kates owner took their coats off for a few hours, and it was like watching a couple of primary school kids let loose in a playground. So lovely to watch.
|The beautiful Kate|
|Kate and Nelson playing|
Apart from the large flock of Fieldfares, Starlings and Mr Kes, I also saw the Goldcrest in its usual shrubby tree, just two Redwing, three Mistle Thrush, lots of Blackbirds, Chaffinches and Dunnocks, the usual birds on the feeders and lots of Cormorant flying overhead. Some of these Cormorants have more white on their heads than black, which Ive told shows they've come over from Europe. A lot of the usual all black Cormorants are flying in groups, mainly threes or fives. Egyptian Geese are also very active with trios screeching and flying around so low, its really lucky they don't get hit by one of my trucks ! Also had two Heron over, and several Black-headed Gulls, though none that I could see that had leg rings. I also saw one of the foxes by the skips, but it saw me before I saw it, and was soon off over the grassy banks. Not a bad day, not a great one. It does make me wonder what I would see if I was to actually spend a whole day out in the paddocks. I'm seriously considering going down there on one of my days off.
P.S - in reply to Susans comment on yesterdays blog, yes the Turkish Tumbler has been re-united with its owner in Wembley. I'm hoping to hear from the owner soon.