800 yards of 'mac. 2) December

December 14, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Doesn’t time fly when you’re not having fun?!

It was a month ago already when I started my monthly blog about life on half a mile of tarmac a couple of miles away from us, so I thought I’d best quickly e-pen the next instalment.

You may remember that in the middle of November when I wrote the first instalment of this series, the trees looked ridiculous. Ridiculous in the fact that they were a riot of autumn colour.

Four and a bit weeks on… and all change – basically it’s just the oaks that (as always) have hung onto some of their caramel-coloured leaves – all other trees and leaves have dropped now.

I was going to take some photos for December’s “800 yards of ‘mac” blog, but thought I’d shoot a quick video instead – taken this afternoon, of perhaps 400 yards (OK… 356 to be exact) of the 800 yards in the title. A boring video perhaps, with the road looking “at its worst” – but at least the video gives you an idea of the road itself.

As for the comings and goings of animals on this 800 yards of ‘mac this month – I’ve established that a male barn owl is back in his preferred (seemingly) tree and I’ve taken Anna and Ben to see him. Anna saw him twice but unfortunately Ben hasn’t quite managed it yet which has been a little disappointing as he does like his owls!

Along with the snowy-white male barn owl returning this month, I’ve also noticed a lovely dark brown buzzard frequenting the bigger oaks lining the road. Buzzards are very variable in plumage and this one is a superb, rich chocolate brownie brown colour. In my wanderings around that part of the local countryside I have often noticed buzzards (a pair for a while, a while ago) but this dusky raptor does seem to have taken a liking to my 800 yards of ‘mac this month.

Whilst December so far has been pretty-darned mild, hasn’t it, the local jackdaws are intent on roosting together in their big winter “rookery” at the western end of the 800 yards, near a sewage farm (I suppose the air around the sewage farm is a degree or so warmer than the surrounding countryside in the dead of winter).

Tonight… well… this afternoon actually at about 4pm as I watched the sun go down over the farm, I was treated to the daily sight and sound of perhaps 1000 jackdaws fly over the 800 yards of ‘mac, and very noisily settle in the biggest trees of the small woodland by the sewage farm.

It always is a spectacular sight (and sound) and this afternoon, in a crisp, clear, orange sunset, it was certainly something else. Everyone should go and watch a rookery or starling murmuration or even a colony of thousands of parakeets if they get a chance. Those types of sounds and sights are one of the few good things I can think of when I think of winter!

With the noise of the jackdaws still ringing in my head this afternoon, I padded back to the car… and as I did I was met with the constant rustly-flurry of rabbit feet in leaves on either side of the 800 yards. This road is THICK with wabbits – and therefore rabbit-hunting predators too.

Merry Christmas to anyone reading this, from the snow-white male barn owl in its tree, the chocolate brown buzzard watching everything from the top of the oaks, the thousand black ‘daws lining the trees of the sewage farm and the dozens and dozens of grey rabbits who have made this 800 yards of ‘mac their home.

See you in January.


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