Saturday, March 03, 2018

Days 4 and 5. Coming to a close.

Whilst this weather event is quite significant and may be the worst snow we've seen for 8 years, lets not forget, it is still spring. Daylight is about 3 hours longer than at the turn of the year and as a consequence of this increased lighting, birds are still coming into breeding fettle. Today, some birds were singing over snow drifts, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Dunnock and my first Blackbird of the year. It is this that reassures me that try as it may, this wintry spell will be short lived. Roll on the first bumblebee...

The last two days have seen a light thaw giving us access to roads so we can get shopping for supplies. For the wildlife this cant come quick enough. Many thrushes of 5 species are still coming to the garden for food and down on the coast path, good numbers of Lapwing, Golden Plover, Snipe and Fieldfare search for unfrozen ground.

Yesterday I took a walk along the coast to Howick Burn mouth. The sea was a turmoil, raging away, flinging spray and spume up into the woods and fields. A large flock of gulls feeding in the close breakers held 300+ Black headeds, 100+ Common and some Herring and Great black backed while interest came with an adult winter Mediterranean Gull and a first summer Kittiwake, my first of the year.

A walk through Howick Hall Arboretum flushed 9 Woodcock and later on a further 6 were seen at dusk flighting down to the sea shore to feed, including a flock of 4 together.

This evening a Barn Owl was hunting in daylight over the back field behind our house. It looked very white uplit by the snow. I would imagine it has gone hungry recently as the rodents are safely tucked away under 6 inches of snow. I hope some of the hungry chilled birds are not being wasted....
 
The burn mouth at a raging high tide. I had to wade waist deep through sea foam...
The Arboretum

A partially frozen Pond and Pond Field.

The newly ploughed coast road. Freedom.
Fieldfare and blackbird looking for bits under my car.




This bedraggled Mistle Thrush was new in today, only briefly.

This harsh spell takes its toll...a weak Song Thrush found outside, died soon after.

All looking for softer ground.

Golden Plover.

2 comments:

Derek Polley said...

Cracking shots, was over in early February but nothing like that. We've had little snow but despite plenty of food the garden has few birds as its open to the east and they seem to have gone somewhere with more shelter.

Dean Stables said...

It truly has been a testing time for our birdlife...and it does'nt bear thinking about all the wee souls that have succumbed to it.
It's just started to sleet/snow (again) here in Glasgow as i write this :-(