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.