Saturday, 9 January 2016

First visit of 2016

Due to the copious amounts of rain we've been having, we've been constrained in our walking locations to those on the chalk. The free-draining soil has kept the paths relatively clear, although sometimes exposing the bare chalk in parts with erosion from sudden downpours.

So, last Sunday I went on my first walk on Martin Down in 2016. Amazingly, the sun was shining, casting long shadows, and really picking out the varied topography of the NNR.

The sheep were in force, rotationally grazing sections, getting the grassland ready for the spring flowers. The birds were also evident, although mainly skylarks. They have already started to sing, which is coinciding with my other observations of birds getting ready for the breeding season.

The song thrush that is resident outside of my flat has been singing its repetitive song for weeks now, joining the melodic flutings of blackbirds and robins, and the inane chatter of house sparrows. I'm lucky in this neck of the woods - we have great numbers of this declining bird, once so common in our gardens.

Talking of which, the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is only a few weeks away (weekend of 30th and 31st Jan) so don't forget to spare an hour to record what your garden has, no matter what its size.

Finally, no sooner had the latest issue of BBC Wildlife highlighted the fox breeding season was upon us, than I heard the cries of a vixen calling outside the flat - it's amazing what wildlife you can hear from the comfort of your own bed!

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