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January 2021

posted 1 Feb 2021, 02:38 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 14 Feb 2021, 01:30 ]
cathedral

After most of January being rather wet and miserable, it was lovely to have some snow and a bit of sunshine last week. What a glorious day to go over to the Green and take some  photos! One of my favourite shots is this wintery scene looking back across the Green to the Cathedral. I never bore of this view, and it was lovely to see it with its winter hat on!

ivy_berries

Ivy berries surrounded by some snow and ice! Anyone who watched Winterwatch last week, may remember Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin talk about the amazing nutritional value of these berries. Now,  ivy flowers in September and then produces these dark brown berries, which, whilst they are not as obvious to see in the hedgerow as the more colourful hawthorn and rowan berries, they nevertheless pack a punch; they have a high fat content and contain as much energy per gram as a chocolate bar! It is no wonder that they are an important food source for blackbirds and thrushes at this time of year, when food can be scarce.

reed_bunting

Whilst standing by the brook, I managed to see a lovely pair of stonechats, hopping in and out of the rushes. Whilst these are commonly seen on the heathland at Cannock Chase, they are a rare visitor to Pipe Green. They may be just visiting for food, or maybe they might decide to breed this year - we will have to wait and see! The male is starting to get his breeding plumage, but the female (shown here) is also looking gorgeous and was much more obliging in having her photo taken! I love the way the sun is lighting up her feathers on her chest