Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Another couple of inches of snow fell overnight, but as I left for work it felt pleasantly mild, as there was no frost this morning, the first frost free morning for some time.

I again had the great fortune of finding the JACK SNIPE in the College Grounds on the way into work, but not much else was noted.

This afternoon after work, I walked over to the Sheep pasture and paddocks at Migrant Alley, via the Tree Nursery and Pub Field. Not a great deal was seen, the party of a dozen or so PHEASANTS were still finding enough to live on in the Tree Nursery, and several DUNNOCKS called from cover. On the Pub Field the only birds present were two BLACK HEADED GULLS, with a few BLUE TITS and ROBINS in the Hedgerow that runs the length of the field.

The sheep pasture and paddocks at Migrant Alley were still carpeted with snow, which is only slowly thawing, and looking around, all seemed very bleak and quiet, made worse by the now thickening fog rolling in. I made my way up to the large manure heap, as it is warm enough to melt the snow cover and make easier pickings for the birds, on my arrival I found two WRENS, a Dunnock, a Robin and two MEADOW PIPITS, strangely no Pied Wagtails though. The Wren and Meadow Pipit gave me a few Photo opportunities, but this was cut short by an ignorant dog walker (yes another one!) he had 3 huge dogs, all off the lead running around while he yakked on the mobile phone, one dog insisted on jumping up me, and with two grands worth of optical gear round my neck I was having none of that, and the dog was soon dispatched with a well aimed hefty boot to the lower jaw, the next few minutes were spent in a face off with the dog owner, who very nearly got the same treatment as his mut! Anyway I digress....

By now the fog was rolling in, limiting visibility to 50 yards, and having lost a bit of my focus after the dog debacle, I headed off home round the field edge. A LAPWING flew over, giving me a quick snap of it, and again, the two COMMON SNIPE were at their favoured place, as they have been for weeks now, apart from that it was a non eventful walk back home.

Below are a few shots I grabbed today, but the light was very poor, something which now we have reached the winter solstice will be getting better with every passing day :-)

Above and below is one of the Wrens seen on the manure pile


Below is one of the Meadow Pipits also seen there.

Next, a Black Headed Gull, which was at the Pub field

and here's the flyover Lapwing

Lastly a couple of snowy bleak landscape photo's









13 comments:

Phil said...

Very nice Wren shots Warren, didn't you take any pictures of the nice doggies? :-)

Warren Baker said...

Phil,
Grrrrrrrrrrrr................

Derek Faulkner said...

Dear me Warren, one of these days you'll accept that doggie people are as much a part of the countryside as you are and stop stressing yourself out and you won't always win the face-offs. From experience I can tell you that going home from birding with a black eye and bloody nose is a lot more humiliating than simply ignoring the dogs and owners.

Warren Baker said...

Derek
Cant ignore a dog thats jumping up you, almost knocking you over - action has to be taken.

I wasn't interferring with his enjoyment of the countryside, he was interferring with my enjoyment of it, once his dogs had 'crapped' I expect he went home, thats as far as his enjoyment of the countryside goes.

Paul said...

Hi Warren, Good to see photos of a Wren, I find them hard to get a decent shot, and most of the time I miss! The Jack Snipe sounds like a very good find too.

Ken. said...

Hi Warren.
I know where your coming from with the dog matter, some years ago while Pam and I was at Capstone Park someone was training his young Alsatian, and it jumped up Pam. Apart from being scared it knocked her backwards, she didn't fall over, andand we gave the owner a mouthful, and he didn't see anything wrong, so your right, some dog owners are totally irresponsible.
Ok back to the birds, well done with the Jack Snipe over the last 2 days, and the Mipit. not something you see a lot of this time of year.
Nice Wren photo's

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos of the Wren Warren.

I hope you didn't hurt that dog because if you did I will be down there quick sharp to give you a hefty sock round the lower jaw! Poor old dog, he thought you were his new best friend :)

Kelly said...

...your shots of the wren are lovely--a very plump and sweet-looking bird. Wow, Warren! When I walk the Little Miami trail, I often am passed by dog walkers, but none have ever been so rude to let their dog jump on me! That just never happens...and with an expensive camera and lens around my neck, I'm glad. Good thing he didn't knock you down...

Dean said...

There`s 2 Bedlingtons that always try to attack me Warren, whenever they`re out with their owner. My size 10 Riggers make sure they don`t succeed.

Derek Faulkner said...

Oh dear Warren,

Your thuggish actions seem to have attracted a similar element, Rigger boots against terriers has the poitential to seriously injure or kill the dog, presumably you find that acceptable.

Marcus Lawson said...

I rarely go over to my patch nowadays Warren as every time there are ignorant dog walkers over there ruining my enjoyment and disturbing all the birds. But they are never "doing any harm" or "just being friendly". My patch is private land but the halfwits cut holes in the fences to let their mutts in whilst clambering over the fences so that they are now flattened.
My 3 year old daughter is petrified of dogs as whenever we are out walking they bound over and try and jump all over her, imagine how that feels when said mutt is half the size again as you. Dog owners really do need to start being a bit more considerate - but then there's more chance of this cold snap reaching Satan!

Jason K said...

Oh what I would give for a Jack Snipe on/over my patch!

Warren Baker said...

The comments on dog walkers seen to have polarised my readers!

I think the what sums it up for me is Kellys comment, in her country it would considered rude for an owner to allow a dog to jump up a stranger - I thought it was the English who were the polite ones ?