End of Winter?

As predicted in my last post we have had snow.  Here in Malvern we have got off fairly lightly compared to some parts of the country and indeed this area.  Several friends who live in more rural settings have experienced drifts of snow over 6ft tall.  This demosntrates what has been so challenging about this phase of cold weather – the biting wind creating huge drifts in the strangest of places, blocking roads, closing airports and thwarting our rail network.

Whilst I spent yesterday turning up curtains I watched the antics of the birds.  They had been missing from the garden on Thursday and Friday probably due to the wind, bitter temperatures, and snow but with the weather improving a little yesterday, aside from the oppressive fog, the birds ventured out for food – much like my neighbours off to the supermarket.

My focus has been more on feeding the ground feeding birds which I think get overlooked a lot.  We have a bench which makes a good platform so several times a day I have been putting out a selection of bird food including the usual seed, dried mealworms, suet and apples.

The offering of apples were rewarded by a small flock of Fieldfares arriving in the garden much to my delight as we only see them when they pass through on their migration route.  They do have a weakness for apples so I was hoping they would appear. They seem to have sentries as we have had one of their number strutting around the place for the last two days guarding the food from all comers with his fanned tail, just like a turkey.

And just to make the gloomy day even better a small flock of Long Tailed Tits appeared on the bird feeders.  They are my all time favourite garden birds with their distinctive excitable song as they flit around the trees and shrubs looking for insects – like little puffballs.  I always worry about them and their small relatives when we have cold weather so it was a relief to see them.

Now on Sunday afternoon the temperature has reached the heady heights of 10C degrees, a bit of a difference to -4C a couple of nights ago and the thaw has started – it always makes me hum Little April Showers from Bambi. Heres hoping that we can now move on to Spring.


14 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna says:

    Glad to hear that you escaped relatively lightly Helen. I saw some reports of heavy snow in Worcestershire and wondered how you were faring. Have you noticed how companionable the long tailed tits are to the extent that they will share a feeder? They are favourites here too.

  2. rusty duck says:

    I am so ready for Spring now. The snow has all gone after today’s rain (no, surely not) but there is still a biting wind. You’re right, the ground feeders do get overlooked. The squirrels here don’t give them a chance.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I haven’t seen a squirrel in ages here. I can only assume my evil cat has seen them off. We still have snow on the garden but the roads are clear so back to work tomorrow

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Those tracks in the snow look like someone was disco dancing.

  4. I have to say that much as I would love to think Winter were over, I’m not holding my breath!

  5. I do hope so, it was sure a blast to the past. It’s one of those things we will have to wait and see… the snow has gone into the ground here now, so fingers crossed.

  6. Rosemary says:

    May we borrow your ‘evil’ cat, please? Our squirrels race the length of the garden along the top of the fence and our whippet races the same squirrels over the flower bed below the fence, a loud spectacle…outcome predictable!

  7. Rain yesterday and spring today has washed the snow away here in my part of Yorkshire. All that snow and most of the plants just get back on track.

  8. Valonia says:

    We saw fieldfares and redwings for the first time! They’re both so beautiful.

  9. Cathy says:

    Same here with the long tail tits – they are not as regular as other birds but bring their friends and relatives when they do come. Good reminder about the ground feeders, so thanks for that. With your proximity to the Malverns, it must make a big difference which way the weather systems are coming, Helen, so I am glad you too feel you have got off lightly

  10. Ali says:

    Long-tailed tits are my favourites too.

  11. We’ve got Long-tailed tits for the first time this year down in Sussex – they are ridiculously endearing!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Did you know they make their nests out of feathers, cobwebs etc. It’s more of a cocoon than a nest

    2. Just when you thought they couldn’t get any cuter, they make cocoons out of cobwebs…
      I didn’t know that! They’ll have no trouble finding those round here – maybe I’ll leave a window open and they can come and sort out my kitchen!

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