Thursday, 31 January 2008

Snow flurries

Snow had been forecasted for later on today so I had intended to get out with my camera and photograph some plants showing signs of new growth. However, by 8am the snow had begun to flurry around the garden. It was just starting to lie on the ground and then it stopped. The winds of last night were still with us so it didn’t stay on the plants long. Then it gave another flurry and so it went all day long.


A number of comments I received on the results post of my Birdwatch count mentioned garden birds perhaps not coming to the feeders as it was too cold. I have to say that is when my feeders are at their very busiest! On cold, windy and wet days like today the birds swoop down to the feeders in their twenties. The areas below the feeders are probably five times as busy as on a fair dry day.


Below my little Acer tree there were many chaffinches in pairs too mixing with the house sparrows, dunnocks and blackbirds. A count today gosh – I could only guess! I also spotted a male Sparrowhawk pass by today too. I would guess my bamboo beside the feeders, which was blowing about a bit, would have made it difficult for him to attempt a catch from this area today.


Numbers of goldfinches on days like today never cease to amaze me. Where do they all come from? I can see seven or nine some days and only five others but when it snows up to twenty can come. They also tend to stay longer than the other birds when they get spooked and fly off to safety. It really is fascinating to watch the behaviour of the different birds that visit. Although, I still cannot get used to seeing the goldfinches with snow – they look like they should be in sunshine.


Strong winds have knocked my feeder pole above a little squint as you can see but this is where the shrubs and hedge really play their part. They act as a great wind break and a resting place for the birds and wildlife too. Today saw the birds sitting in little gaps of my hedge just waiting for the feeders to be free. There is no point at all in fighting for food today as they will need all their energy to be out in the cold actually at the feeders! So, there was relative harmony today – just groups of birds hurriedly feeding together. The shrub, griselinia, on the right in the photo above is another great place for the birds to hide in days like today which is nice - as this is my favourite shrub in the garden.

By darkness the garden looked like the snow had never been! We still have strong winds and tomorrow we are looking at widespread snow across Scotland. I expect I'll need to top up the feeders again at lunchtime as it will be another busy day in the garden!

All photos above were taken in my garden on January 31st, 2008.

6 comments:

Barbara said...

It was a surprise too when I saw our garden covered with snow this morning. But it isn't very much, so I think tomorrow it will have gone again. You're right, when it is cold my feeders have a heavy traffic too. Actually I'm busy to look whether my different feeding places are filled or not. Now the two "difficult" months will come with ice, snow, Spring attitude, sunshine and rain. A mixture of everything....
Have a nice weekend, Shirl!
Barbara

Mike @ Fenphotography said...

Looks a bit wild up there Shirl, looks like the snow will miss us as always, hope it doesn't get too deep for you.

Mike.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Shirl, we are sitting here waiting for the biggest snow of the season to hit. Maybe it will go around us. We will just have to wait to see.

I love seeing all your birds. They are so colorful.

Meems said...

Oh Shirl, I love your posts on the birds and bird feeders. While we don't have snow here in Florida the birds don't seem to mind the wind and rain we do have at times.

My feeders stay fairly active I think because of all the shrubs and trees surrounding them for the little ones to take cover in when they aren't feeding.

You on the other hand have some visitors I don't ever see here... all of them quite adorable. Thanks for the wonderful photos.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love goldfinches, how wonderful to see so many of them! Lovely photos!

shirl said...

Hi again, Barbara, Mike, Lisa, Meems and Juliet :-)

Barbara – it sounds like your climate in Switzerland is quite similar to ours in Scotland although your temps get lower. I wonder if you get hotter temps too. Yes, I always feel a little apprehensive with February weather and if it is quiet March could be the mad month for weather. Thanks – enjoy your weekend too :-D

Mike – It was wild then! Luckily the snowfall didn’t come to much in my area. This morning we’ve a pretty icing sugar dusting of snow and the sun is shining :-D

Lisa – looking at your post yesterday with the birds feeding on the snow I am guessing your snowfall wasn’t too bad either. Today is another day for you though! Yes, I agree we have a number of very pretty birds visiting at the moment – I love to see them too :-D

Meems – Thank-you! I have to be honest and say I must find some time to browse your blog more fully! What beautiful flowers you have in Florida at the moment and by gosh your birds are on a different scale to my tiny garden birds! Yes, the trees, shrubs and hedges in a garden are all great for encouraging birds and other wildlife aren’t they. Plants and birds do work well together :-D

Juliet – Thank-you, so do I. The funny thing is that I had never seen a goldfinch in any of my gardens, even as a child, until a few years ago. I had only put up feeders in earnest then. As more birds came I experimented with different foods and now I have quite a community in my garden :-D