Sunday, 1 November 2009

Rain doesn’t hamper…

… an Autumnal Sunday drive. Let me take you along small countryside roads that I have travelled many times over the years… my Granny (Grandmother) used to live around here.

The leaves won’t last much longer on the trees up this way with more heavy rain and strong winds forecasted. I hadn’t planned to video parts of our journey (look out for birds crossing the road) but as I had a ‘willing’ camera girl (daughter) with me….






For those unable to view the video here is a frame grab from the video below. I have to say, yes it was on the main a miserable day but with the reflections through flooded parts I do think it had a magic too. I love driving along this road… except in snow and ice. I don’t ‘do’ winter roads!



Okay, our road was going somewhere today… we were heading for one of our favourite destinations for a drive. We were heading for the SWT Loch of the Lowes. The rain got quite heavy as we arrived in the car park. Now, the big question was… would the birds come to the feeders?

Rain didn’t hamper activity at the feeders at all! In fact there was even more activity than usual today. Chaffinches were helping themselves to peanuts with were put out for red squirrels. Woodpeckers enjoyed peanut butter. Siskins enjoyed niger seeds and a Treecreeper briefly visited a feeder too before scampering up the tree so very well camouflaged…




The end of the video above showed a brief clip of branches with Rowan berries. There was a good reason for including that. When we arrived at the visitor centre the staff and a few visitors were standing at a window looking out with binoculars. There was a bit of a buzz…

Fieldfares, Redwings and a Bullfinch had been spotted feeding at these berry laden branches! It was tricky to see them clearly with the light levels on this dark damp day but even without binoculars I spotted them come and go.

Raindrops running down the windows made filming through them impossible. But hey… it just goes to show rain doesn’t hamper birds when they find a good source of food. It was great to see the excitement these visitors caused in the Centre.

Most of the UK was to be wet today and the weather predictions are for a wet and windy week ahead. However, if you’ve been looking out on to your garden feeders today I’d expect you had birds queuing up!

Yep… rain doesn’t hamper garden birds. Mm… rain I’ve also noticed in the past doesn’t hamper birds of prey hunting either… watch out for Sparrowhawk visits this week too!

Finally, I’ve had two people in mind behind this posting. Mary from Iowa, USA… this Sunday Drive is for you. Thank-you for your email, I will try and capture more images of Scotland for you.

Fellow blogger Helen is the other. I’d like to dedicate this posting to you and your family.



Update Monday 2nd October: In view of the title of this post and the images shown in BBC News this morning I feel perhaps I should add that rain did hamper many parts of Scotland over the weekend… in fact it caused havoc! We were very lucky here.

The BBC reports this morning:

“Heavy rain has caused havoc in the north and east of Scotland with many homes flooded and trains cancelled. More than 100 elderly people have been moved from their care home in the Aberdeenshire town of Huntly. Arbroath in Angus was left virtually cut off, with all main routes in and out - including the railway line from Edinburgh to Aberdeen - impassable.

The centre of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire was under water after rivers burst their banks. Desperate residents filled pillow cases with sand from the beach to try to protect buildings, after the rivers Cowie and Carron burst their banks. Some streets in the town were evacuated.”

No doubts, a clean-up operation in all areas hit will be in force today. Preparations to hold back further rainfall expected later today and for the rest of the week will be beginning but once river banks have burst their banks that is a much bigger task! This must be an awful time for so many from residents to services and pets to wildlife too.

Perhaps birds respond to severe weather too and yesterday’s weather triggered the appearance of Fieldfares, Redwings and a Bullfinch at the Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre. Perhaps our gardens may see unexpected visitors this week too.


This morning my garden has seen early sunshine and winds although the winds are picking up now and as you can see above the leaves are leaving the trees! The geese are flying over just as usual although I do suspect some of the fields they’d usually visit will have some flooding.

Here’s hoping all flooded areas will get some wind and sunshine to dry them up a little before the next downpours fall. Finally, the rain and winds won't just be hitting the UK. Here's hoping it isn't too bad where you are. Stay safe... especially when driving.

The video of our drive (thanks go to my daughter) and the footage at the feeders (taken through Centre viewing window) were taken by on November 1st, 2009 on the road to and at Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre.

Video uploads with movement aren’t as successful but as the moment was more important I have posted these ones. The photos above were taken in my garden on November 2nd 2009 unless otherwise stated.

12 comments:

Liz said...

Lovely videos Shirl, I hope you're and your family are well.... Lovely to dedicate it to Helen too... I can't imagine how she's feeling at the moment :(

I've always found the feeders to be very busy on rainy days, often the birds are a good early warning of rain coming... Many times they've all suddenly flocked to the feeders in a frenzy and sure enough within 10 minutes or so, rain has arrived...

Wind however is a different matter, they often hide in the trees/shrubs with strong winds so it's unsurprising that yesterday I barely saw any :(

Miranda Bell said...

A lovely video Shirl and happy memories of Scotland for me too - so much rain has fallen over the last 48 hrs - even in Brittany as well! I'm off to take Lucy out for her walk in a minute whilst the sun is actually shining! Loved the bit in your last posting of your hedgehog on the peanuts - our regular visitor has made himself a cosy nest in one of our flower borders so hope he's here to stay... v. exciting. Hope you have a good week and I expect with all the horrible weather forecast I might even get to spend a bit more time on my blog this week :-) Miranda x

Midmarsh John said...

I enjoyed tagging along on your drive. Not many wooded roads round here. Lovely video of the birds at the feeders and well done in capturing the Treecreeper.

Pleased you escaped the worst effects of the heavy rain.

Funnily enough here there were far fewer birds coming to my feeders during yesterdays downpour.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is that time of year when birds are migrating. We have had record rains here too. UGH...

shirl said...

Hi there Liz, Thanks glad you enjoyed the vids. The car journey one is a bit blocky but it was still fun to share and I will enjoy looking back on it too :-D

Thanks for asking... we are fine, my daughter headed back on the train to Aberdeen on Sat instead of Sun which was probably fortunate. Her train was delayed but she got back okay in time to celebrate her 19th Birthday :-D

Yep Helen’s news was quite a shock… especially the timing of it for us. Last year just two weeks after my daughter’s 18th birthday (Halloween) after a two hour drive we were walking an A&E corridor to news that Doctors were starting to treat her for meningitis based on her symptoms and them being unsure what was wrong. They acted quickly and hammered her with every antibiotic going!

Unlike Helen’s sister she was discharged after 5 days with a diagnosis of possible viral meningitis. Her recovery was long. She missed a chunk of Uni, a few months later she took severe tonsillitis then one month later glandular fever. She is now repeating her first year and her immune system is low even yet.

Dedicating this posting is a small gesture but this news hit me harder than I expected. I was in tears for Helen, her niece and her parents. I can’t bear to think of how in shock and sad this family must be feeling now.

Ah yes… I think you’ve got something there with the birds prior to weather changes. I’m sure I’ve seen the same with cold, sleet and snow too. Ah yes… the wind is a different matter and only the brave stay out then! Not the ones you’d expect either… the goldfinches are the hardy souls in my garden. However they have to be alert as the winds bring Sparrowhawk visits to the feeders here too!!

shirl said...

Hello Miranda, I’m delighted the vids brought back memories for you :-D

Gosh… Brittany too is wet!! Hope you enjoyed your walk. We appreciate the sun so much more after rain don’t we?

Wonderful to hear your hog is still around I’ve a tale to tell about our visitor ;-)

Yep… this may just be a week to catch up on overdue jobs both on and off the computer. Thanks… enjoy your week too :-D

shirl said...

Hi again John, glad you could make it ;-) We’ve some areas fairly close but not nearly as quiet and remote as this one.

I was delighted to catch the chaffinch taking the peanuts intended for the squirrels. Clearly the ease of taking them at the centre is so very tempting! I’ve never seen them take peanuts from our feeders.

Thanks, based on the TV coverage we have been very lucky here. There are areas within a couple of miles that can get flooded and have made it to the news in previous years but so far we’ve been okay. I tend to worry more about wind damage with our corner position in our street with bungalows around us and the side of our two storey house gets well hit. Fortunately our Leylandii hedge does help break the force at a lower level.

Hope you are surviving the weather too and the birds return to your feeders :-D

shirl said...

Hi there Lisa, yes it is and pre blog I have to admit I never really paid much attention to migrating birds. Oh… the rain is really doing the rounds if you are getting it too.

I hope you are free from flooding. I remember seeing pics from your area last year. Hope the sun struggled out with you today :-D

ShySongbird said...

I enjoyed the rainy drive Shirl, I imagine it is not pleasant in really wild weather though.

The activity at the feeders was really interesting and for me the winner was the Treecreeper, it is high on my list of 'want to sees' so I am envious ;)

I heard the news coming in on Sunday night about the weather in Scotland but they didn't mention your area. Then this morning (Monday) they did and I was worried until I spotted your post and was so relieved that all is well :)

I have left (sorry!) a late comment on your previous post.

The Early Birder said...

Hi Shirl. Enjoyed the drive & say 'well done' to the camera girl..a very steady hand. Good work to follow that cheeky Treecreeper. The weather has definitely put the dampers on any photography at this end of the UK.

Enjoyed the previous post, particularly the colourful leaf collage. Lots of berries at work so hoping for better weather soon to watch the Redwing & Fieldfares.
Keep dry. FAB

shirl said...

H again Frank, excellent… I’ll pass the praise on. She was particularly pleased with her zoom in on the bird crossing the road and zooming out again so well too!

Ah these treecreepers… I’ve seen them there a few times now but as yet I haven’t got good clear and steady footage. It is very difficult to predict which way it will go and before you know it its gone :-o

Yes, it’s a shame when the rain stops you getting out at this time of year. The colours are fantastic including all the brown tones of plants finished for the year. It was quite nice here today… and I didn’t go out with my camera ;-) That’s the way it goes isn’t it :-D

Thanks, I enjoyed doing these particular collages. The colours and shapes of the leaves were wonderful and they do last only a short while like that too. They’ll be great to look back on in the frosty days ahead.

Ah yes… I saw all the berries in your previous posting… yep I guess the birds will be arriving at them very soon! Hope its dry then and you have your camera with you :-D

shirl said...

Hello again Jan, great to have you come along with us! Yes, you’re probably right… strong winds do cause trees to come down up this road. In fact the broken tree trunk with peanuts had fallen down earlier this year… it snapped overnight and fortunately didn’t fall down on the visitor centre :-o

At this centre I always look out for different activity at the feeders for a bit of variety in the videos. Usually there is something that catches my eye :-D

Ah… these treecreepers are a challenge to see. In this case I had seen it at this tree on a few other occasions so I knew to keep a look out for it there. I wish it would stay still long enough to get some good close-ups. It is such a pretty bird so I can fully understand it has made it to your ‘must see’ list :-D

Thanks, we were lucky here. We don’t usually suffer from floods on the whole but I guess you can’t say ‘never’ with the way our weather behaves now.

Delighted you enjoyed my last post too. The garden has changed a bit since then… the ground is even more colourful :-D

Enjoy the rest of your week :-D