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January 3rd, 2012

Dandy

This could get boring...

Oh , I said this morning, I really need to get out and have some exercise, hardly done any walks since mid December.....I usually take camera, binoculars and notebook with me when I walk and for slightly different reasons all three are a bit useless if the rain is coming down.
So MOH said, leave the camera and just walk...and much as I try not to act on advice this time I did. It wasn't actually raining as I set out and I did get as far as the pond (long steady slope uphill to get this far and the track continues to rise after passing the pond) by which time there was a gale blowing off the moor, making standing difficult and holding binoculars virtually impossible. The pond was being whipped up into a frenzy at the down wind end, waves breaking against the stone work of the dam holding back the water from the village. There were few birds on the water but a line on the far shore included the resident geese and some mallard and a few brave mallard were on the water on the sheltered upwind side of the water. A few crows tumbled struggling across the sky and some magpies kept low profile out of the wind, but that was it birdwise.
There had been nothing small in the garden earlier either, at least nothing smaller than blackbird and starling: no tits, no sparrows, no finches and no wren...at least not whilst I was watching and there was little small to see on the wider scene.
There's a rhyme that goes " The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow and what shall the robin do then poor thing?He'll go to the barn to keep himself warm and tuck his head under his wing."
Must admit I have wondered just what the little birds do do at times like this of howling gales and torrential rain. I've read accounts of large congregations of wrens being found in sheltered holes(there latin name Troglodites troglodites means cave dweller) but I never see wrens more than one at a time....so that doesn't seem too likely locally. I suppose I did see one or two examples of what I call sbbs (small brown birds)blown over the road as I walked but not what became of them.
At any rate there seemed no mileage in ploughing on into the rising wind so I turned and returned home by another route....but no more birds... just the crows and magpies struggling and the ducks(mallard)and geese(one Canada and five farmyard) and a handful of sbbs and that was it.Saturday should bring a trip to the reserve at Pennington Flash. Perhaps things will be better there.