Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Tuesday 22nd.December 2009

Yet again , a day of two halves , dour and grey this morning and clear skies and sunshine this afternoon . We cancelled the days hedgelaying up on the Greensand Ridge because of the conditions under foot , and it looks as if the same will happen tomorrow if the minus temperatures and freezing fog that is forecasted , come to fruition .
The male Blackcap attended for breakfast , and shortly afterwards , I noticed movement in the Cotoneaster next door , which gave my first chance to get a shot of a Fieldfare this year . In the dull conditions , it didn't stand out as it should , but , hopefully the next one there will be in the sunshine . I also noticed 3/4 Redwings land on the shrub , but I didn't see any berries being eaten .
After lunch , I set off for a walk along the bottom lane and onto West Wickham Common . As I passed the little Primary school , I looked at the Holly tree opposite , where I had seen Redwings feeding last week . Not a single Holly berry was left , but in the school grounds , another Cotoneaster stands , laden down with berries , no more than 20 metres from the Holly . My theory is that the tanin levels in these berries is still very high and the level drops as they ripen further , which is when they will go the same way as the Holly berries . Further along the bottom lane , I noticed a young lad , standing in the road , looking worried . As I approached him , he came over and asked if I could help him . He had noticed a ewe , just the other side of the hedge/stockfence , that didn't seem as if it could move , and was coughing . I had a look through the hedge and saw Bramble wrapped around it's body . As there was no sign of anyone in the fields , I climbed the fence in the corner and made my way back to the ewe . As I got close , she tried to get away again , and the coughing got really bad . It was then that I could see she had 4/5 strands of Bramble wrapped around her neck , then wound together like a rope , as a result of her trying to get free . As soon as I started to break the Bramble , she relaxed , as if she knew I was helping . With all the Bramble away from her neck , she broke free of the remainder around her body , and ran off bleating to join the others . It was as well that the young lad stayed till someone came along , as I was going to go up the footpath before that point , and wouldn't have seen her . The young lad went on his way , much happier .
After all the excitement , I went up the side of the horse field , and in one small area uncovered by the snow , recorded a single , Song and Mistle Thrush , Blackbird , Redwing and Fieldfare , a full house . I couldn't get them all in the same shot , but here , L-R are Redwing , Song Thrush and Fieldfare . Amongst the usual species , I recorded Kestrel again , could well be the one I photographed a few days ago .Coming back down the other side of the horse field , I saw a movement right in the distance . It turned out to be another Fox , another dog too , from the size of it . It sauntered out of the Blackthorn bushes , and after a while , decided to sit in the sun . There he stayed , enjoying the afternoon sunshine , and by the time I got to the bottom of the hill and looked back , he had laid down and was having a wash .


Warren Baker said...

All the thrushes in one field! nice one, takes me miles of tramping to achieve that most days.

I like that fox, he looks a good healthy specimen!

Wilma said...

Good job on freeing the ewe!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
What a eventful day you had. I take my hat off to you for rescuing the Ewe. Well done. Also well done with the Thrushes.