Friday, 25 December 2009

The Fens, Mid December

Often a very bleak and hostile place rarely free of wind. However, the recent snow, calm winds and sub-zero temperatures have transformed it into a magnificent place. As the temperature dipped to as low as -9 C some mornings, many of its inhabitants had to decide whether to stay put or move south.

Hunting Barn Owl

Little Owls

Fox and Hare tracks

Departing Egrets

5 Little Egrets headed south in a hurry.

Most of the dykes and channels are now frozen and Little Grebes huddle together under the bridges where the last free water is.

Invaluable Game Strips

Game strips prove invaluable in these harsh conditions, providing food and shelter for many birds including Linnets and hunting Barn Owls.

Moving Lapwings

Many Lapwings have been heading south west since the snow arrived. Unlike the last few days most of the passing Lapwings today have been keeping very low to the ground despite there being no wind.


This Wren was foraging beneath the snow, sometimes not emerging for 20 minutes. Maybe the loss of its tail had something to do with a close shave like what the Wren below had in the next field along.

Kestrel chasing Wren

A foraging Wren in the middle of a field made the mistake of emerging from the snow just as a Kestrel passed low over the field. A chase began and with the Kestrel winning the sprint the Wren decided to plunge head first into the snow. The Kestrel then began diving into the snow forcing the Wren to make a life saving effort to fly the last 30 metres to safety. It made it.

Several large flocks of Skylarks are scratching a living in the snow covered fields with many individuals looking tired and hungry.

Closer views of the pale Buzzard that i first saw a few weeks ago.

Great Northern Diver and Short-eared Owl, RW.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Caerlaverock, December.

Bottom two individuals have lovely pale grey eyes.
A large group of Whooper Swans were feeding in a flooded field close to the road until a women walking in the same field decided to let her three shit machines off their leads. Love people, me.