Steady rain drummed on my window this morning, but after a couple of days without much walking, I knew I needed to get out to get a few miles under my belt for my 2500 miles of walking, so no matter what decided I'd head out for a local walk in the Ouse Valley, the kids decided it was too cold, so I headed out alone.
Then The Rain Came Down
Wandering from the Old Mill buildings along the River Ouse to the Aqueduct the rain was steady but gentle, and I felt quite good strolling faster than usual in my more unencumbered state, for once I had headed out onto my patch with just my binoculars and small camera, no heavy rucksack, no long lens and no tripod, I felt free and easy in my walking.
The River is slowly rising with the amount of rain, and snow, we have had over the last few days, and it dashed along at pace beside me as I walked, Canada Geese now seem to have taken up residence on the grassy fields over the rivers flow, and can be seen picking their way through the tussocks searching for morsels of food. As a Little Egret flew by me, heading up river, I couldn't help but wonder if it was the one I watched be taken down by a Aveline, the peregrine, a thought I'm sure I will have many times from now on as I wander the river valley.
With the river rising I hoped that the reserve might also be in flood, the more water at this time of year the more ducks I see, sadly it is not quite at a point where the water from the Ouse is flowing through the nature reserve, but another day or two of wet weather and there will surely be a rise in level.
The further into the reserve I walked the more the rain came down, bright moments were to be had though, first as a stunning male Stonechat hopped up onto a fence mere metres away from me, had I had a long lens and a bit of better light I would have had an amazing photo, then as I watched the chat a Kestrel swooped in an hovered directly over head, the light from the storm clouds and rain seeming to boost the oranges in the birds plumage, as it did to the oranges in the reserves scrub.
|Dark Skies over the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve|
For the last few walks a Little Owl has been in residence in one of the old oaks that stands tall below the farm buildings, never easy to spot, with colouration matching the gnarled branches on which it sits, but once you have your eye in it stands out like a sore thumb.
The last excitement of the walk was a pair of flyover Pintail, never regular, but often spotted throughout winter, they brightened up a few more minutes of my ever wetter walk.
With the rain now falling cold and heavy, and a chill wind whipping across the exposed water, I headed back home, another 5 miles clocked up, the cobwebs blown off, and a few nice bird sightings to boot.
I'm Walking 2500 miles in 2017 to raise money for Birding For All - Read about it here - Please consider donating through My Donate
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