January 28, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

What is it about January that makes it seem longer than any other month? As I write this blog on the 37th January I haven't really been anywhere apart from staying local! There is still plenty to see on your daily exercise. I occasionally cycle round the South Oxfordshire countryside and see plenty of wildlife. The thing is my camera is too heavy to carry on my bike! Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
RSPB Otmoor, Oxon.
Grey squirrel foraging in the snow.

At this time of the year many birds are looking their best ready to mate and can be heard singing to establish territories or attract a mate. Kingfishers can be seen chasing each other down water courses to claim a territory. Soon they will hopefully pair up and seek a nesting site. 

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Beddington Park, Surrey.
Mrs Kingfisher looking her best for a potential mate.

While there are still berries in the hedgerows you will still see thrushes (Fieldfare, redwings & blackbirds). At this time of year wildlife will need an extra helping hand from us so please keep your bird feeders filled and also leave water out. They still need water to drink and bathe in during the Winter months.

Redwing (Turdus iliacus)Redwing (Turdus iliacus)Redwing (Turdus iliacus)
Beddington Park, Surrey.
Redwing with some tasty holly berries.

One of the few places I have visited is RSPB Otmoor which is only a few miles away. With all the recent stormy wet weather and sub zero temperatures the fields around the reserve are like skating rinks! There is still plenty of birdlife around but can be quite distant. My highlight species there at this time of the year are the Winter thrushes and finches/buntings. They always add a bit of colour to gloomy overcast days.

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
RSPB Otmoor, Oxon.
Male Yellowhammer dining on seed that is put out for them during Winter. RSPB Otmoor.

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
RSPB Otmoor, Oxfordshire.
Goldfinch feeding on teasel heads.

Great bustard (Otis tarda)Great bustard (Otis tarda)Great bustard (Otis tarda)
Letcombe Regis, Oxfordshire.
The Great Bustard can still be seen in South Oxfordshire

Barn owl (Tyto alba)Barn owl (Tyto alba)Barn owl (Tyto alba)
River Thames, Farmoor, Oxon.
Barn owls maybe seen hunting along the field edges at dawn/dusk in Winter.

Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover.
Kestrels will be making the most of the short daylight hours hunting for voles etc

As we are likely to be in lockdown for another month or two wildlife will carry on as normal. So when your out on your local daily exercise keep your eyes peeled as you never know what you might see! Nature has helped many of us get through the past ten months, myself included. I find nature is a great healer in times like this. Even just sitting out in the garden or going for a short local walk. Nature is always there for us all to enjoy.

Thank you all for reading my latest blog and thank you all for your support and kind comments over this difficult period we are all experiencing. It makes it all worth the while. 

Please continue to upload your photographs to my Photo's Page. There are some great photographs being posted.

Many more of my images can be viewed on my flickr page and Instagram.






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