Monday, 20 December 2010

Good Hare Day

It was a magnificent -10 degrees as I left the house, having been -17 degrees overnight.. but what a morning, pure white snow plus a peachy sunrise:

Unsurprisingly, the River Thame is completely frozen:

But I was surprised to encounter this Fox hunting a Pheasant by tracking it along the frozen river:

I used the movement and noise of a moving herd of cows to get close to this defrosting Red Kite:

Hares were everywhere today, more evidence of the cold weather pushing mammals closer to human habitation in their search for food. I counted 7 Hares in one field, easily the most I've seen here (or anywhere come to think of it).  This video demostrates why Hares in northern Europe (and Scotland) turn white in winter - brown Hares really stand out against the snow:

And then something I've never seen before, a pair of Grey Partridge (a good local record itself) hiding themselves deep in the snow. First, the distant feeding birds:

Going, going...

..gone! Two Grey Partridges almost entirely submerged in snow:

They left a distinctive track though:

Finally we managed to leave the village this afternoon and what better way to celebrate than by standing alone in a freezing snow covered hotel carpark? Fortunately after 25 minutes my dates turned up, 6 Waxwing:

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