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Winter sun and wildlife. 

Making the most of the winter sun today. Lots of walking. Starting at sunrise. The low morning sun bounced off the landscape and created a beautiful golden light that enhanced the greens and browns of the forest.

Blackbirds, Robin's and song thrush kept me entertained with their morning chorus. A male bullfinch stood out with his smart orange breast against the naked winter boughs and the crisp morning frost edged the gnarly bark of the conifers.

The cold morning air nipped at my nose, but then warmed quickly in the sun trapped pockets on the path. It seemed I wasn't the only one enjoying these sunny glades as I unintentionally disturbed a fox who was basking in the warmth. After breakfast, back out again.There is something about the winter sun and perfect day for a guided walk. The ponies were out in force enjoying the break in the weather.

We stepped out of the way while a mother took her yearling to a local watering hole and watched a mare graze the gorse gently nibbling at the prickly leaves.

Seeing the shetland ponies always makes me smile especially this time of year in there 'heavy hairy overcoats.'

We stood and watched the local kestrel hunting over the heathland for a while, hovering at first, then silently twisting and diving to the ground while the resident buzzard awkwardly lumbered over the ground on foot scavenging for toads and frogs with a herd of fallows quietly grazing nearby. Once home, I went out for a local litterpick to clear the decks for the next storm heading our way at the weekend! Walking through the village the early spring flowers are starting to show and it is noticable that birds are starting to pair up, giving us all hope of warmer days. Once I had filled my bag of discarded rubbish, it was time to head home as the local 'thug' of donkeys were starting to show interest in my rustling bag and before I knew it, I was being followed by the long eared mafia! Naughty donkeys, they could have offered to help! 😉 It was a great day of sunshine, wildlife and good company.

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