Winter Wonderland-Highland Cows and Ectoplasm

A wonderful opportunity today to experience the Country Park NR during snow, so we set off from Fairlight, having first established a bird feeding station in our garden, to see what we could see and photograph.

It was immediately obvious that hard weather induced  bird movements were underway, with small groups of Redwings and Meadow Pipits flying low over Fairlight. We walked along the cliff edge path to Coastguards, evidently the first people to do so, and saw  two groups of Skylarks, 40 and 25, flying resolutely out to sea, presumably crossing the channel, and a fine flock of 100 heading west.

We witnessed a remarkable sight, repeated throughout the morning, of creamy-white miniature clouds coming up over the clifftops and moving inland. We thought these might be flimsy plastic bags at first, but a better view showed them to be some sort of foam, sometimes forming complex shapes up to a foot in diameter. One such landed on the ground near us, and in the interests of science I poked my finger in and tasted it- salty. Presumably these were pieces of spume from wave tops, though why  should they  rise up in the air like this on a completely calm day ?

Bird movements continued, with about 70 Redwings , 150 Meadow Pipits and 110 Golden Plovers all going west low over Firehills during the course of the next 2 hours. Two Curlews dropped into fields behind Firehills, and a passing Raven rolled.

At the top of Warren Glen we spotted the Highland Cows running towards their trough , and found the Rangers breaking the ice so they could drink, as always a photographic opportunity not to be missed.

Returning, there were a lot more people out and about and we learned that a Little Egret had flown low over Fairlight.

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