Sunday, 22 November 2015

Nov 22nd Waterloo Park

One look outside my window last night and a sense of excitement came all over me. It was snowing!! The first snow of winter has arrived to Norfolk, but it was only a light covering. It was disappearing on the ground fast and I feared it was gone completely by the morning.

The scene this morning
A snowy sunrise over the city of Norwich
I woke up early this morning to find that there was enough snow around. So I decided to put my boots on and go for a walk around my local park. There was a glow in the sky from the morning's sunrise and a snowy Norwich looked wonderful in it like a scene on a Christmas card.

Norwich Cathedral
Grey Squirrel
The wildlife was up and about searching for food throughout the park. Squirrels were checking their caches for the seeds they stashed on the ground this autumn for a quick nibble. A robin posed for it's Christmas photograph shoot on a snow covered hedge for me, while thrushes and finches were everywhere you looked in large numbers. Most of them were blackbirds. A lot of them had black or dark coloured bills which means they are from the Continent, especially from Scandinavia. They arrive to the UK in large flocks to escape the extreme cold conditions over there and come for our mild winters and for the berries on the trees. The resident blackbirds were not happy of having intruders on their patch and were chasing them off with little success. I was also alerted to the chuckling rattles of a flock of fieldfares flying over me.

Blackbird with a black bill
Carrion Crow
Birds were numerous today, gathering on every bare branched tree or bushes with berries on them. Greenfinches and chaffinches decorated the bare skeletons of trees like baubles. With no foilage to use as cover they were exposed to predators. As I watched them on the cherry trees near the park entrance, they suddenly took off all at once. Then I notice a larger bird land in their place. It was a male sparrowhawk! I was so mesmerised by the sight of it that I completely forgot I had the camera in my hands and by the time I brought my camera up for a shot, it had gone. It flew over my head and to the otherside of the park, chased after by a few blackbirds. I had wasted my best chance by gauping at it like an idiot!

I was glad that I had my walk early this morning to enjoy what was left of the snow when I did as it was not to last as the sun rose higher up in the sky as the morning progressed. The first snow of winter was a brief blanket to enjoy if you were an early riser, but there wasn't enough to have a snowball fight or to build a snowman with. I predict that this will not be the last time we will see snow this winter.

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