Bitterly cold with tiny flakes of snow in the biting north east wind. I went first to RSPB Rye Meads. Bit of a disappointment as they were undertaking works and much of the reserve was closed. I've never seen the water so high from the Draper hide. Not a hint of scrape left for waders. :( Wonder why they 'manage' it like that? A kingfisher shot through and a deceit of peewits wheeled above. I notice that Chris Packham incorrectly called a flock of the birds a murmuration on Winterwatch.
With nothing much to see I went to the Longlands Hide at Fishers Green, very little showing and the the wind was blowing directly in so I relocated to the west-facing Bittern Hide. Bit quiet there too but I enjoyed chatting to shy Dave and a beardy man. We were excited to spot a magpie on the back of a, I think, female muntjac. The deer wasn't bothered at all as the bird pecked away, in fact I'm sure she was really enjoying it.
I've chosen to post this image as it shows her bottom set of incisors. Deer don't have upper incisors. One can tell if deer have been grazing as the cut edges of the grass and foliage are ragged. The teeth of hares and rabbits cut through cleanly.
Beardy man predicted the exact time of arrival of the ring-necked parakeets. I love these birds. I've posted one to extras especially for my daughter. :)
Today's poem is verse V of The Ballad Of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde. www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/ballad-reading-gaol
Thankfully we live in enlightened times where the 'love that dare not speak its name' has been decriminalised and pardons given to thousands of convicted gay and bisexual men under the Turing Law.