Colder, not ‘otter

It’s always a bit of a shock to the system  on your first day back at work after a holiday and none more so than today, having last worked here over two months ago and in the meantime having been in warmer climes ……..

The scene which greeted me on going to open the Tern hide was well worthy of what, I believe, was the coldest night so far this winter.

frosty hedge by Tern Hide

frosty hedge by Tern Hide

Sometimes such heavy frost can be too overpowering and completely ‘whites-out’ any definition, but the delicate nature of last night’s cold spell highlighted some interesting patterns on the foliage.

 

frosted leaves of bramble

frosted leaves of bramble

I don’t suppose these conditions make life too easy for our more insectivorous birds, like this pied wagtail, which despite, or maybe because of, the conditions was foraging quite successfully along the edge of Ibsley Water.

pied wagtail on edge of Ibsley Water

pied wagtail on edge of Ibsley Water

Walking round to open up the hides, I was struck by the picturesque interplay of the frosted grass and fence wires with the oblique rays of the early sun.

frosted grass and fence

frosted grass and fence

I’d heard that one of ‘our’ regular wintering bittern has been seen from the Ivy North Hide recently. so full of expectation I stealthily opened the hide and the side window in expectation…. but no bittern!!!  So often when nature-watching it’s the unexpected which provides the most thrills,  so I was suddenly excited by views of a medium sized mammal swimming close in to the hide.  ‘Otter!!’, was my immediate thought as I  struggled to extricate camera from its case to take some confirmatory pictures. It was a few minutes before my rapier like brain kicked in…………….. not an otter, but a mink!!

not and otter!!

not and otter!!

Some visitors today have been more fortunate and did see a bittern, and among other sightings were several snipe by Lapwing Hide as well as the great white egret

A trip to the lapwing Hide was rewarded when Jacki spotted some fallow deer grazing by the fence.

fallow deer

fallow deer

The same group, or possibly different ones were more distant, but showing slightly better with the sun on them, from the Goosander Hide, with the added bonus of a buzzard perched on a post right next to them.

fallow deer and buzzard

fallow deer and buzzard

 

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