Wednesday, 18 January 2012

95% recovered and the frost begins to bite!

Hi folks! It feels like I'm emerging out into the wide world again after a period of hibernation and whilst that is obviously not true (i've not turned into a squirrel just yet!), I have most definitely been house bound for a while. Been poorly with 2 colds in the space of 2 weeks and probably some kind of flu that has confined me to barracks and more often than not either my bed or the settee and the TV .... not very adventurous of me I know but honestly folks I've been wretched so not really had anything to report and didn't think you good people would be too interested in the changing colour of my snot!

Anyway, moving on ..... I'm on the mend and ready to get out and about again and post some pics.

It has finally turned cold here and whilst I couldn't drag myself out into some of the harsh frosts and take some pics here's a reasonable look up the lane to La Macherie one frosty morning earlier in the week and one of the rising river Gartemps.

Have to say that although I've not been doing much birding, my sense is that it's staggeringly quiet around here. Bit disappointing really but since I haven't ventured further than the village and one or two local spots I suppose one can't complain. I had a nice Merlin last month along with a couple of Hen Harriers. There are masses of finches but apart from a couple of Hawfinches, all either Chaffinch, Greenfinch or Goldfinch. Plenty of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits around and some impressive flocks of Reed Buntings with around 200 seen today in meadows and fields around the village.

One interesting aspect is the number of over-wintering Chiff Chaffs and Blackcaps with several of both species around the village, probably benefiting from garden feeders, but also not uncommon to see either in local woods and along hedgerows. Here's a couple of pics of a female Blackcap foraging in a largely frozen elderberry tree.

Whilst it's been quiet on the bird front I've been busy playing my guitar and aim to play a solo gig at a bar in Drux one Friday eve soon, so madly practising and massaging my vocal chords! Just finished rerecording the couple of songs I posted a few weeks ago .... I wasn't happy with the final result and still not but I have to get over that slightly perfectionist streak and just post! Still uploading the clips but will post very soon!

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