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wildlife in the garden & further affield

15 January 2012:  The second morning of frost this year & one of only a handful here this winter.  A hoar frost whiskers the grass & there’s not a breath of wind.  Not yet 8am, so although there’s enough light to contrast taller plants & trees against the sky, the jumbled detail of the garden is still not clear.  Already, a blackbird’s been within two metres of the house – quite brave for round here, so they’re hungry enough to take bigger risks. I have a couple of window feeders new this year, but so far, there’s enough safer food that no-one has ventured this close. 

The little whispy cirrus cloud is picking up a pinkish glow as the sky lightens & a small flock of goldfinches flutters into the tall silver birch.  The craking sound of a pheasant stops the small birds feeding temporarily, but he must still be over in the autumn-planted field.

8.30 & it’s just about light enough to tell the little birds by their markings.  The blue-tits are the most nervous – they fly in, cautiously hop closer perch-by-perch, as they suss out the surroundings, then zip in for a single mouthful & straight off to eat it elsewhere.  Although the golfinches rarely come alone, they fill up in a single sitting, much preferring the niger seed. 

A single woodpigeon has moved into the silver birch.  Perhaps he’s warming up – the sun is giving the tree’s white trunk a golden glow.

9am & the sun is so low at this time of year, that it hasn’t reached the garden at all.  It won’t get all the way to the house all day, so some frost will last all day.

Comments»

1. Maureen Eyles - January 27, 2013

Pride makes me wish I had done the ‘big bird watch’ yesterday. After counting 43 birds on my snowy lawn last week, made up largely by 23 Blackbirds and at least 4 Robins plus a lonely Fieldfare here I am on Sunday and wondering where they have all gone, just 3 Blackbirds, 6 Long Tail Tits plus the odd Chaffinch and Blue Tits. I had to work hard feeding 3 times a day but I feel as if my friends have deserted me – I bet the rat I see won’t desert me!
Maureen

2. dawnshifter - January 29, 2013

I had a similar experience: whilst there was still snow, I was replenishing bird-food several times a day, they were so busy. Then when I did the count this Saturday with the snow gone, I only got the brave ones. But I have bought a cheap DIY bird-table with a roof, so that should keep snow off some of the food in future.


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