Dec 4 2015 Brockweir/Hudnalls National Nature Reserve. Gloucestershire UK.
Despite the winds and risk of a soaking I think I'll walk to the village again. The paper should have arrived by now. It's spotting with rain but nothing too serious, besides I want to see if there are good birds around.
As I come up the hill to the farm and pause by the apple orchard I notice a slight movement amongst the ripened apples, it's a Blue Tit having desert.
Then way above me I hear an unfamiliar sound, it's loud and raucous. The culprits are a pair of Mistle Thrush which land close-by in a large clump of Mistletoe. I am told they will defend the territory and berries throughout the winter. The old English name for the bird is 'Stormcock'. That goes a long way to explain where the nickname came from especially on a blustery afternoon like today. The shot below is from several hundred feet away, it does however give enough detail for a positive ID. For this trip I brought the Nikon D7100, Nikon 200mm-500mm, my Vortex bins and a Nikon P7100 point to shoot scenics and recordings.
Below is the Magpie, obviously looking for something on a calf's head, a behaviour I haven't noticed before and worthy of a shot despite the grainy image
I came across another flock of Long-tailed Tits today. They are frenetic feeders and the light was low so I had to shoot at 1600 ISO just to get a few so so shots. Then the postman sped by in his red van and the flock was gone, never to return. I'll keep trying and walk the back lanes which have far less traffic. My goal is to get better shot of this beautiful bird before my return, all I need is a little decent light and a bit of luck.
And what walk would be complete without meeting my new friend the Robin. I am sure I will have names for all of them by the time my visit ends. Each of the four birds down the lane come out to meet me every day. They are so territorial and inquisitive. Voted as the UK's favourite bird it is often depicted on Christmas cards, children's books and like the Blackbird sings at night, even in winter!
I am just leaving for another walk to the village, I wonder what surprises lay ahead.
"It's never too late to start birding"
BC Canada with notes from the Forest of Dean