Saturday, 21 March 2009

Deer, Hares, waiting for Spring

After a cold night with a hard frost a number of birds were perched up above the hedgerows soaking up the first rays of the sun, including 18 Meadow Pipits and half a dozen Yellowhammers. Meadow Pipit

Above: One of Santa's flying Reindeer swoops down to join the local Roe Deer
Hints of spring: singing Chiffchaff trying out it's lungs in riverside trees. Skylarks, Yellowhammers and Chaffinches were in full song. I await the first trans-Saharan migrants, but it won't be long before the warblers and hirundines arrive. The first singing Chiffchaff was heard on 17th March this year, with the first bat (pipstrelle?) feeeding over the football pitch at dusk on the 18th.
The Very Distant Hare was back in it's field and living up to it's name. Hares have white ears with black tips, and when backlit the ears almost glow, as above. Below: this small herd of Roe Deer was quite approachable, a stag with nice antlers (by Roe Deer standards) and his three hinds.

Back in the garden I am greeted by a nice male Blackcap feeding on ivy berries:

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