How's your Lockdown 3.0 going? are you a) climbing the walls, b) pacing the house like a captive Bear? ... or are you, c) conducting your very own 'Winterwatch' like me?
(PS -... there's plenty of a) and b) going on here too!) 🙄
This latest 'incarceration' doesn't feature that added bonus of glorious spring weather or even a late Autumn warm afternoon to soften the blow. Winter can however, bring it's own compensatory features, in some photogenic weather (snow) and occasionally cooperative wildlife.
Dutifully (for now at least!) following the restrictions on movements outside the home, I've decided that the house is now officially a wildlife hide and the Study window and upstairs balcony the places to 'watch-the-winter'.
The Sparrowhawk (above) is a regular, both in the skies above our garden and in my blog posts. This time however, I tempted him to visit a specially constructed perch right next to the very bird feeders that he treats like his own supermarket deli counter!
The snow of recent days added a nice little bonus atmosphere to the first time I've actually been in place with the camera ready for his arrival.
We have also been visited by a large female Sparrowhawk in the skies above the garden and surrounding woodland, terrorising the winter Thrushes preoccupied with stripping the Hawthorn and Cotoneaster of its berries
How about that for the last thing you see .... gulp!
So much for the hot predator action (for a while anyway) ...
We have both Greater Spotted and Green Woodpeckers in the garden everyday, not so 'ordinary' actually, but welcome nonetheless
Greater Spotted Woodpecker
There's joy to still to be had in watching 'ordinary' garden birds mobbing the feeders and cavorting around in flocks of frenetic activity. So ... time for a few winter shots of our smaller visitors ...
Robin in the snow - next years Christmas card contender!
Robin on a spade in the snow !
Our resident 3 legged Muntjac Deer bred successfully again this year and her youngster can be seen gambolling around our back garden like a spring lamb!
Our Squirrel neighbours also enjoy the new perch set up, availing themselves of the bird-food bounty on offer on a chilly day - this one looking very pleased with itself !
Happy Grey Squirrel
Slightly rarer visitors are the pair of Jays who swoop in from the surrounding woodland on a colourful raid, this one pretending to do the classic 'Robin-on-a-spade' shot !
We also have a pair of Pied Wagtails, who spend most of their time perched on one ridge of our roof or another, occasionally staying briefly still enough to allow me to take their picture !
So there we are - a quick visit to Winterwatch at Harris Acres and like all good things I've saved my highlight until the end.
I must have spent hundreds of hours watching the skies from our bedroom balcony .... missing some amazing shots in the process, but sometimes, the wait pays off.
A couple of Peregrine Falcons must have set up home in the untypical habitat of the rolling Warwickshire company, because I have seen them seeking their fair share of the birdy banquet.
On this occasion, it seems a Sparrowhawk was also hunting nearby and the resultant dogfight took place in full view, albeit at stunning speed.
I managed to catch the action, an amazing sight indeed.
Stay safe and well everyone!