Should have been out and about in the sunshine this morning , but a phone call last evening asking for help up on the Common this morning , saw me heading up there . A lot of Gorse had been cut and treated but we didn't get a chance to burn it before the snow came . In fact , the amount of Gorse to be burnt , was much more than was anticipated , and a quick two hour burn , turned into a frantic four hour job , and only three of us to do it . The highlight of the morning was a pair of Sparrowhawks , a male and female from the obvious size difference , giving us a 'flap and glide' flyover , in clear blue sky , whilst we were working
That meant a late lunch , which meant late getting out for a look around . Already the clear blue sky was almost gone , replaced by cloud , rolling in from the SW . By the time I got to Keston Ponds , the sun had gone , and with it , the warmth , as the temperature noticeably dropped like a stone . All three pods were almost completely frozen over , apart from where people had broken the ice around the edges , and small areas in each , where the spring enters the first pond , then feeds the other two ponds in turn . Apart from two Mallards and a Coot on the middle pond , everything else was on the top pond , nearest the car park , but no sign at all of the Mandarins .
Walking back towards the car , between the top and middle pond , I found the female Grey Wagtail , searching for food in the running water . By now , the light was fading , and she was in the dullest corner of the pond , making photographs difficult . I must have taken 20 shots of her , but the light and her constant bobbing and movement , meant most were very blurred , and just managed to get a few reasonable shots .
In the garden , the female Blackcap was around at breakfast time , and when I got back this afternoon , the male and the male Blackbird were both feeding avidly on the Callicarpa berries . The Redwing numbers on the Cotoneaster have doubled at least since yesterday , as I counted at least 18 on the shrub and resting in the surrounding trees . There were also 3 Fieldfares feeding on the same shrub .
Next two days should be hedgelaying up on the Greensand Ridge , but , I think the weather is going to have it's say about that , if the forecast is correct .
1 day ago