Nellie’s Notes – December 2012

Hello Claxtonians. After some recent cold and wet weather the temperature has risen and we have been able to enjoy the clear blue winter skies.  I have taken several walks down onto Claxton marsh and up to the river to catch site of the rafts of wigeon whistling as they drift in the tide on the river.   They migrate to the marshes for the winter and are a stunning site when they take to the air in huge flocks. However, whilst enjoying the views of the wild ducks and geese, you may overlook a solitary robin like bird that bobs in a characteristic fashion from its perches amongst the reeds and shrubs. This is the stonechat, a winter visitor to Claxton marsh which can be seen from the footpath at the sluice of Carleton Beck and the river as it flies between its low lying vantage points.

The stonechat is an insectivorous bird that manages to survive through the British winters by moving south to coastal areas.  They are easy to spot given their conspicuous markings and characteristic behaviour.  So take a walk down to the river this Christmas and look out for the dapper little stonechat and the flocks of  whistling wigeon.

Whilst on cat patrol in my garden on a dry Sunday afternoon, we had an unusual visitor to our weeping willow tree.  A large bird perched in the tree scanning the garden looking for an opportunistic meal as the doves and wood pigeons enjoyed the wild bird seed.  It was a common buzzard, perhaps not so common in a Claxton garden on a December afternoon but becoming a more frequent visitor to the skies of Claxton as these large birds move east across the country.  It moved from the garden to reappear later in the day in the large oak tree in Peascod Loke.  What fabulous birds they are and it is good news to see that the so called ‘buzzard barrier’ dividing the east and west of the country has now drifted across the North Sea passing Claxton on its way.

To all my canine friends have a great Christmas with plenty of festive treats.


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