Rather belatedly, I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I do hope the holidays have been good for you and without too much disruption with the weather. As you will see… snow is still covering my garden. However, new visitors have found their way to my feeders which is making gardenwatching quite interesting now.
Being completely honest, the novelty of this winter wonderland is beginning to wear thin now. ‘Smiler Snowman’ is still with us albeit in body only… after I patted down the snow on the hat and the head rolled off and along the ground past my very cold feet. Oops…
Since December 17th my garden and its plants have been under a thick blanket of snow. Cold temps have meant that mounds built up after clearing paths haven’t moved at all. There have been a few days where it looked like the snow might melt but then we’d get another very quick heavy snowfall and another layer was on top.
Oh yes… in the last week there have been many beautiful views from my window beside me. I cannot deny that…
There have been some fascinating views from an upstairs window too…
There are still dramas in our cold winter garden as birds continually have disputes over the food available. All this squabbling, as you might expect, must be like a neon sign for predators.
Yep… café open and it was a male Blackbird that was on the menu for a male Sparrowhawk the other day. I couldn’t watch it feast in my garden so opened the window and off he flew with his takeaway 🙁
Damaged wings have been spotted too which could be narrow escapes from predators or fights with other birds over food. I hate to see birds hopping on one leg… especially in the cold. The other leg of the starling above was so twisted it must be broken. I was pleased it spent some time getting food at least.
Some birds watched all the action like this female blackbird not knowing a robin was close by watching it!
Looking across the snow, today I was able to sit by my window ‘gardenwatching’ for a while and saw a ‘first’ for the 4th of January! Today, I was thrilled to see (for the first time ever) two tree sparrows feeding on seed. Perhaps they have visited before but I have never noticed them.
I always wondered if I’d be able to tell them apart the tree sparrow from the male house sparrows but they were quite distinctively different with their brown caps and black spots on their cheeks. The looked very smart with their white collars too!
So that was the excitement in my garden for today… or was it? Light levels were low when I saw another return visitor for this cold time of year. I took a dull, grainy photo and was able to confirm its ID.
However, when a very brief outing by the sun lit the branches of my neighbour’s cherry tree that overlooks my garden I had a much better photo opportunity. I wonder if you can recognise it from the angle below. The male chaffinch on the right will give you an idea of scale.
I was delighted to see this bird again and quickly/carefully ran out with an offering of red berries… cranberries that I had left over. My video camera was then set up to watch this dish of berries to see if this bird came down to feed on them. Alas… not today. Maybe tomorrow then… provided the snow doesn’t cover them overnight!
Perhaps you’ve guessed the ID of this bird now. For those that haven’t or not likely to see this bird it is a member of the thrush family… a Fieldfare.
I know my photos still aren’t perfect but considering they were taken through my window and at a distance I was absolutely thrilled with them!! They are so much better than the one I got last year so I am happy.
I’d like to say that the photo below taken at minus -4 deg C, just before 4pm, today the 4th of January may be the last snow scene from my garden for the moment but alas the weather reports say otherwise! Brrrr… this cold spell and snow is to set to be with us for a few weeks more.
Oh dear… I have a feeling I’ll have a few plant casualities by the time this frozen blanket leaves us. It’s been a good few years since a snowfall has covered the garden for so long. If you’ve got cold and snow with you, keep warm and stay safe when out and about.
All photos above were taken in my garden. Most were taken on January 4th 2010 with others taken between 1st-3rd of Janauary.