30th. Female blackcap in the garden, and up to 7 redwings stripped the cotoneaster berries in the hedge.
27th - a visit to Blagdon Lake to see the BLYTH'S PIPIT. I had good views of the bird on the frosty shore. It is noticeably larger than the meadow pipits that it associates with, and moves like a wheatear, running, then standing erect for a few seconds. The lowest image shows the moderately long hind claw. An interesting article about identification here.
The bird is paler and less strongly marked than the similar Richard's pipit, and has a noticeably shorter bill and tail. Richard's pipit below, from Huntspill, November 2005. It also lacks the pointed projections to the black areas on the median coverts.
12th-18th. Italy: two days in Rome, then to Tuscany. A woodcock flew from the track to Lucie's house when we arrived on 12th.
We visited an exhibition of artworks by the remarkable Artemisia Gentileschi.
Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany