Saturday, 19 December 2009

Fill yer boots......

Saturday 17 December 2009

Well yes, fill yer boots, but not with snow !  Left them out at the wrong time and woke to eight inches of snow. Garden looked great and walking around first thing had that muffled effect, no traffic and all sounds very distant - great. Walking on the crisp snow sounded like walking over egg shells covered by felt.....well all very muffled anyway.

A look to the bird feeders revealed some very cold tits. Clearly in need of food they chipped away and soon the garden had over a hundred birds including, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Dunnock, Wren, House Sparrow, Goldfinch. Magpie, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon and Jay to name just the obvious ones.

here the Coal Tit breaking into a frozen feeder.

and here a Blue Tit choosing some less frozen nuts

and very protective of it's nuts in the cold

so after walking round the garden at the back and the normal area of bird activity I was surprised to see some movement on the front lawn, seemed to be bits of vegetation flying into the air. I crept round and saw some snow moving, could it be the moles returning for a Christmas fling, no surely too cold, then up popped a head, almost as surprised to see me as I was it, three seconds, a quick flick of the head, and away

this fine female Green Woodpecker ! I guess someone's got to get through the snow to feed, males have a red centre to the dark moustachial stripe and are usually found back at home waiting for the food to arrive.
So garden done and off round the lanes, with hundreds of Redwings and Fieldfares stripping the bushes of berries.

but unfortunately very jumpy, shame as the Fieldfare is a truely great bird and when you see them up close the apricot colour of the breast and the intricate flank markings make them a wonder to see. So a bit of wandering round hedgerows with plenty of Red-legged Partridges about, and finally a Hare legging it off up the track (good ol' Hatrley).

the short day length and domestic duties (including snow fights with Tom) meant very little time for any proper wildlife viewing, but that said a nice hour or so and all on the doorstep.

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