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David

Snowdrop

Snowdrop

The days are visibly getting longer, and now the snowdrops are beginning to bloom.

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David

Pochard

Pochard

Yet another duck species to take advantage of the sheltered environment of West Park.

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David

Fat squirrel

Fat Squirrel

Some of the squirrels in West Park seem to be getting too well fed.

Picture taken before the big freeze. Perhaps the rolls of fat helped this individual survive the extreme conditions?

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David

Herons

Heron

On New Year’s Day three herons were showing themselves within a couple of hundred yards along the Staffs and Worcs canal at Compton.

Heron preening

This one was intently fishing, then pausing to give its feathers a lot of attention.

Young heron

On the opposite side of Compton bridge, this one was more focussed on getting something to eat.

Young heron

It appears to be a younger bird, and was more wary as people passed along the other bank.

And finally a couple of views of the third bird, keeping a lookout in the trees above Compton lock.

Heron lookout

Heron lookout

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David

Cow parsley

Cow parsley

Showing a surprising amount of growth on New Year’s Day.

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David

Kestrel

Kestrel

This kestrel using a high twig as a lookout post to watch for prey. Shortly after this shot was taken, the bird saw off an encroaching buzzard.

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David

Mosses

Moss

Mosses grow on all sorts of apparently difficult environments. The ones pictured here were growing on the tops of walls beside a busy main road.

The stalks on the moss pictured above are supporting the spore pods.

Moss

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David

Mallard drake

Mallard drake

This male bird coping with the ice on the West Park pool at the weekend, showing the rich colours of his plumange.

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David

Alder fruit and catkins

Alder fruit and catkins

Last year’s fruit and this year’s catkins hanging from the same branches back on New Year’s Day.

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David

Dabchick preening

Dabchick preening

This little grebe paused to give its feathers a good cleaning after swimming in convoy with a couple of mallards (below).

Little grebe and mallards

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David

Magpie in the snow

Magpie in the snow

This magpie’s haughty retreat gives a view of the rich iridescence of feathers which normally appear black.

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David

Robin

Robin

A robin uses one bird feeder as a perch for its approach to the other feeder.