Spring is in the air
We’re not even in April yet and the temperatures have soared. I’ve been making the most of the good weather and the longer day-light hours and I’m sure the local wildlife has too. I spotted this Red Fox the other day but it was too close to photograph its whole body with my long lens. Nevertheless, it provided me with a good opportunity to study those beautifully designed eyes. Unlike most Canids (Dogs, wolves, Foxes, Coyotes etc), a Fox has slit-form pupils rather than the usual round ones. This is thought to assist with the hunting of ground based prey. A better explanation and much more information on the natural history of the Red Fox can be found on this excellent web site
Ironically, I got a better view of this vixen later in the day as it strolled along the shore of the lake. Judging by her swollen teats, she is already raising this year’s young in a den nearby.
Probably the biggest excitement of the week at Tophill Low was the continued presence of a pair of Snow Geese. This pair has been resident for most of the week at Watton N.R. and seem reluctant to continue on their migration.
The Roe Deer have been active too and I see them most mornings & evenings in the fields around Tophill Low. I managed to get a photograph of this doe as it jumped and ran. She looks a little scruffy but that is because she is losing her Winter coat.
A pair of Little egrets paid a visit earlier in the week. They both landed in a perfect spot and I was looking forward to getting some fine photographs of these magnificent birds against a perfectly blue back-drop of the lake. Unfortunately, no sooner had they landed, a pair of Roe Deer ran past and frightened them away. Still, I’m sure they will pay another visit again very soon.
Flocks of Curlew have been present on most days at Watton N.R. and I never tire of watching the dazzling aerial display of the Lapwing as they swoop down to land. I also spotted a Kingfisher which seemed to have a growth below its left eye. I do hope that it’s not a serious infliction.
Perhaps the highlight of the week was this morning at Watton N.R. I noticed that the local crows were unusually vociferous and then spotted an Osprey flying low beneath the trees. On this occasion, I only managed to get some poor flight shots but will cross my fingers for a return visit from this marvellous raptor. [Addendum – Richard Hampshire examined my poor images and concluded that the raptor was probably a female Marsh Harrier]