Friday, 30 December 2011


Clouds so heavy with rain they look as if they could fall from the sky crash past on a bitter winter wind. The kestrel battles to hold his position against the gusting easterly as a solitary short eared owl wheels low over the wind-bent grass.

A mile further along the Arun a second short eared quarters the field by the old canal lock, both fly lower than I had seen before, making their acrobatics all the more spectacular as they twist and turn just above ground height. Does the wind carry the sound of the voles away, so the owl hunts closer to the ground?

The wildfowl pay no attention to hawk and owl, but scold as feet splashing in the grass disturb winter slumbers.

Wet feet force a retreat to waiting warmth.

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