Friday, 9 March 2018

Winter Storms !

Day One
The "Beast from the East" clashed with storm "Emma"  causing havoc around the country.

A week long period of heavy snow, all the more unusual for us in the south, I can't remember a prolonged period of snow like this for some time.

The initial euphoria of a winter wonderland landscape soon passes, and the reality of being housebound, cold, and generally feeling fed up soon sets in.
Fortunately this does not last for long, just five days in all, spring like conditions have returned now, the snow has disappeared as quickly as it appeared. The shrubs around the garden are showing signs of new life, crocuses are in bloom, Daffodils and tulips have burst through the thawing soil.

Winter Thrushes have dispersed back to the countryside

A review of the birds visiting the garden around the Pear tree during this period of  wintry weather threw up a few pleasant surprises.

I kept the bird feeders well stocked with apples in the hope of enticing a Fieldfare or two into the garden.  No such luck the only birds to appreciate them were the Parakeets, Starlings and Blackbirds.

A first for the garden, three Redwings landed briefly in the top of the Pear tree, allowing a quick photograph before they were off.

2 of 3 Redwing briefly landing in the Pear tree

The most exciting find for me was a very brief glimpse of a Song Thrush in the garden, I first caught sight of the bird flying into the ivy, and then one more brief view as it flew across the garden, landed briefly in the Weigela tree before moving out of the garden, couldn't focus properly in my excitement

This is one of those birds that seem lost to the suburban gardens, where in my youth they were quite common to see skulking around under the garden shrubs.

A bad photograph but you can clearly see that its a Song Thrush.

Song Thrush in the Garden. !!!
Just before the bad weather set in another Thrush sighting  at the top of the Pear tree again, this Time a Mistle Thrush, so that is three out of four possibilities and two new additions to the garden bird list in the form of Song Thrush & Redwing.

Mistle Thrush
There had been no sign of a wintering Blackcap in the garden all winter until the arrival of the snow, this male spent three days around the garden feeding on the fat balls not interested in the apples strangely. seems to have moved on now.

Wintering Blackcap
This was the first Greenfinch sighting in the garden all winter, driven in by the winter storms no doubt. ( Another bad photograph, inadvertently left ISO setting very high for some reason.)  but worth recording as a garden scarcity .

A roving flock of Tits visited the garden on and off during the bad weather, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Long Tailed Tits, one sporting some bling.

Long tailed Tit.

Other regular sightings include the ever present flock of House Sparrows, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Robin and  two sightings of the juvenile Sparrowhawk previously photographed, and a very brief view of a Wren.

House Sparrows in the snow

 There has been a " Charm of Goldfinch" that land briefly in the Pear tree late afternoon, I have counted  twenty one in the Pear tree.

Hopefully that will be the end of the wintry storms for us in the south of the country, looking forward to some warmer weather and spring.

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