Winter Birds

With the temperatures hovering around freezing, it feels like winter has finally arrived. It’s certainly cold, but today the skies were clear and the winds low. I like winter days like this. I needed to take a rare trip over to Eastbourne, stopping briefly at Seven Sisters to see what birds were about. There were a few distant curlews, numerous little egrets, some swans and cormorants. Worth the early start.

little egret

Little egret at Seven Sisters Country Park, East Sussex

swan

Mute swan on rippling blue

cormorant

Cormorant cruising

Back home the foxes are still around. At least three of them are putting in an appearance on the trail camera (along with an occasional badger), though Pretty Vixen is the only one venturing out for photo shoots. She seems to be becoming a permanent fixture. It’s good that so many are still around and that bodes well for next spring.

fox

Pretty Vixen peering down from the wall

Camera note: all bird photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens. Pretty Vixen taken with the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens.

A silly place to hide some food

A short sequence taken yesterday of Pretty, the young vixen. The food in question is a ‘markie’ biscuit. She tends these days to take them away to cache, digging small holes in the borders (or occasionally the middle of the lawn). Last night though she tried some different. She climbed the garden hedge (about 5 feet high) and tried to cache up there.

fox

Thinking about where to hide this treat

fox

Near the top of the hedge, trying not to sink!

fox

Have cached… now scrambling down!

Not the wisest place to hide something… but I doubt any of the other foxes will find it!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens.

Sunset after Hurricane Ophelia (Brighton)

We din’t get the hurricane, but the effect of Ophelia as it passed to the west of the UK was to bring some stunning weather events as it carried dust and sand from the Iberian Peninsula and the Sahara. Mid-afternoon the skies darkened as the dust blotted out the sun. People stopped work to watch as a dull reddish darkness transformed the sky. Later, the skies cleared and by sunset it was clear. But the colours remained.

These sunset shots are taken overlooking the South Downs from just outside Brighton. The tower on the left is the Whitehawk transmitter. To the right is the i360 tower reaching up over the horizon.

Weather following Hurricane Ophelia turned skies red with dust from the Iberian Peninsula and Sahara desert.

Whitehawk transmitter and i360.

A marmalade sky

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.