Sunday, 30 November 2014

Some colour

Saturday began with some colour, a nice sunrise over the Chiltern escarpment to the east...

 ... and continued this morning with the surprise appearance of a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly in our bedroom. On November 30th! Presumably brought prematurely out of hibernation by our central heating? 

My first visit to the local fields in weeks was a more monochrome affair. A low flying Grey Heron over the Private Pond:

The first surprise of the morning were 3 Snipe that flew in fast from the east and went straight down into... an autumn sown field of oilseed. I have never seen Snipe land in, or flush from, this crop before. One Snipe in flight: 
I dutifully plodded around the marshy areas by the River Thame in case there had been a Snipe influx (like this one, 56 birds in a morning!) but no more were discovered. 
    The second surprise of the morning was a covey of 22 Grey Partridge flushed from the large field to the south of the village, the largest number I've recorded in these parts. I caught a few with my camera, in near black and white, as the flock broke up and flew into the sun:

Not wanting to end on a colourless note, I took these pictures of wild Ring-necked Parakeets on Saturday in south-west London. Garish to some, I always enjoy seeing this species:

Still 89 species for the year. The fact that I have not (yet?) recorded a single Lapwing or Peregrine is astounding and unprecedented.

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