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...|
|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.|