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January 2nd

Our lovely Lurcher Ossie took me for a walk mid-afternoon and we headed for the village before turning left and taking a footpath that runs alongside some established meadows. The ground was dusted with snow still, but there was little to see in the way of birds. Perhaps most had seen out the active part of their day and had begun to settle down for the night. Two Fieldfares burst out of some scrubby hedgerow as I passed and an airborne Snipe appeared, calling, before dropping down like some kind of dumpy javelin into the rough grass of one of the meadows. Activity, and interest, picked up as I headed back towards the road, for some disturbance in an overgrown ditch transformed into a fleeing Woodcock which afforded me brief, end on flight views before dropping into the cover of a nearby garden. Looking back for a last scan towards Grubb Street, I glimpsed a large bird quartering which turned out to be a Marsh Harrier with a keen interest in something it had detected in some paddocks there. I guessed it's potential prey may have taken cover for the Harrier eventually drifted northwards in the direction of the water tower at Hill Sixty. My later than planned walk had been more worthwhile than I'd expected after all.

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