Friday, 3 December 2010

A snow and bird filled week

Let’s start with a walk shortly before sunset last Saturday. Back then, the gentle light snow decorated the landscape artistically. It blended in beautifully with the warm tones of Autumn. However, soon Winter was to seriously take charge.




Clicking on all images in this post will enlarge them.


Overnight and into Sunday saw more substantial snowfalls. The artist, also known as nature, was using a thicker paintbrush now.

My garden is on the East side of Scotland and on Sunday the major disruption and chaos on the roads began. I should stress that the end of November is not a time for snow to normally cause a problem here.

Schools etc have been closed all week which is a first for any winter. My husband couldn't drive out of our street to get to the major roads but if he did he would only have found them closed. He became a stat in the many who have worked from home most of this week. I can confirm he has more than worked his hours too.

On Sunday, my husband and daughters were not just held up in the first of this unexpected chaos on the roads but then found themselves with thundersnow when they finally reached their destination in nearby City of Perth.

Prior to this we had never known of thunder and lightning in a blizzard. My daughter missed her train but fortunately got the next one which took the journey very slowly as the lightning was affecting the points on the track.

Meanwhile, back in my garden I kept myself busy by making a snow feeding station for the many birds that were arriving in my garden. I thought I'd try another bird feeding experiment.

Chaos of a different sort could be found in my garden. You might also say there was some major disruption too. Instead of thunder and lightning, Starlings had begun their week long invasion.




After looking out at Starlings all week,
I’ve decided they look pretty stunning in winter.

Yep… Starlings have posed, squabbled and eaten from all feeders they could cling on to. To my surprise they have also been very, very keen on the apples I put out especially for Waxwings. Few apples are left now.

Also seen enjoying these apples this week have been, Blackbirds, Robins, Blue tits, Chaffinches and Goldfinches. Taking a guess at numbers there has to have been 30-40 Starlings visiting. Chaffinch numbers have increased too perhaps reaching 20-25.

Starlings, although on the endangered list and needing help, aren’t always welcome in gardens due to their rowdy, greedy behaviour. However after seeing so many this past cold week, I am warming to them.

I've noticed that although Starlings fight over food like Blackbirds, unlike Blackbirds they do work as a team also. I have enjoyed watching their behaviour.

Moving in to the week, Monday at 7:30am, you can see that we now had a deep snow carpet covering the garden. It looked seasonally pretty with soft artificial lighting.




However two hours later, in the harsher cold daylight, the real picture was quite different. The artist, known as nature, was using oils and a palette knife now.




Hungry birds were attempting to fly from feeder to feeder but many were hidden. Heavily snow laden branches made it difficult for the birds to land near them too.

The sense of urgency from the birds to find food was easily seen. I scattered seed in a variety of places to help. I knocked snow off branches and feeders I could reach too.

I also spread the feeders around my garden rather than all birds going to the one area. However, with the high numbers of birds now arriving in my garden no feeding area was quiet.

Like the queued motorists struggling through snow on the roads the birds were queued, struggling, cold, hungry and impatient too.

Sunshine, and blue skies by lunchtime saw Starlings and other birds preening and soaking up what warmth there was from the sun perched on my neighbour’s cherry tree that overlooks the garden.

The artist, known as nature, has a delicate brush now and enjoying colour and light. The picture has a bit of calm now.





This is a very popular tree for the birds that visit my garden. Note, above right, the tiny Blue tit is eating a sunflower heart. Blue, Great and Coal tits often take food to eat up there.

Just a two hours later and it’s a serious business in the garden once again. Now the birds try to eat as much as they can in order to have enough energy to keep warm and alive overnight.

There is no time to waste. Soon orderly queues won’t be in operation. Light is going and the cold night to come is creeping in.




Wait a minute though… a new bird visitor had also crept in! I nearly missed it too in the medley of birds. You’ll see this new visitor on the right of the photo above.

This was one on my 'realistic' bird visitor wish list! I am delighted to say that Bramblings have arrived in my garden :-)

What a treat this has been to see them. I don’t know how long they’ll stay and they don’t stay all that still when they visit but I hope to get some clearer photos of them before they go.

A male Brambling can be seen in the photo above (on the right) and (2nd from the right) in the group photo below. Also in the group photo the female Brambling can be seen 4th from the right. Two females and one male have been spotted.




Male Chaffinches are seen with the Bramblings and it is likely that the Bramblings joined this large flock of Chaffinches that are visiting my garden at the moment. I do hope I get a closer view of the male Brambling.

Getting views of the Chaffinch is much easier. A male is in the close-up below on my bird bath that I've temporarily converted into a feeder. Positioned below a window I have access to cover the food when the snow comes on.

As to be expected the quiet, the calm images of the Chaffinches and Blue tit to this make shift feeder are only occasional ones. Starlings and Blackbirds squabble here too.






This pattern for Monday, has been repeated all week long (including more snowfall each morning and throughout the day). Other birds visiting my garden this week have been Blackbirds, Robins, Dunnocks, Great & Coal tits, House Sparrows, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Siskins and Woodpigeons.

Sparrowwhawk visits, I hadn’t seen this week which has been quite a surprise. However, right on cue as I am typing this, one just flew into the cherry tree that had been full of birds at the time.

The birds in the tree made a quick, safe exit and the Sparrowhawk was left all by itself looking around almost bemused. I suspect it is trickier for it to catch food when there are such large groups of birds. A collared dove arrived just after, good job the Sparrowhawk didn't see it.

So how much snow do we have? I’ll be honest, I have not been out with a measuring tape. Suffice to say that the only measure I am interested in is that of the height of my Wellies (Wellington boots). It is right to the top in most areas of my garden so careful steps are required.

Taking a sweeping brush to my Greenhouse roof was also necessary as I was concerned that the weight of snow up there might do damage. Nearby, our satellite dish also got the sweeping brush treatment as the signal was going. I needed to dig out a spot for a ladder there.

Going back to last Saturday, when I tried building an alternative winter feeding station for the birds, I had no idea we would see so much snow. I might have altered my design a tad, however it has been successful. I didn’t take photos when I made it.



You can see it in my window view above. Notice to the bird bath feeder on the right too. I keep a garden skuttle nearby and place it over the food when the snow comes on again otherwise the birds spend too much energy trying to dig out the food.

So, for my tunnel I basically made an igloo type tunnel. I took a plastic storage box and filled it with snow, tipped the snow bricks out and built my tunnel. I then added the blue lids of large storage boxes from my shed as a roof. Blackbirds, Starlings, Dunnocks and Robins have taken the food from inside.

In the long garden view you can see the other entrance of this snow feeding tunnel on the left. You can also see where I have trudged through the snow to top up feeder and the Arbour in the distance.




In the Arbour area, with the lunchtime Sunshine on December 1st , you can see an untouched carpet of snow. Long winter shadows too.

The artist, known as nature, has perfected the art of mood and atmosphere.




Perfecting the art of finding food in a garden has to go to the Starlings though. In a bid to spread around the food for the birds I re-opened Hedgehog Manor with an extensive buffet.

Needless to say along with Blackbirds and Robins, Starlings found fat balls, apple pieces, sunflower hearts and mealworms on offer. I have some video footage but as yet have only mastered editing photos and need more time to become familiar with the video options on my upgraded PC.




Finally, I’m at the end of this Winter update from my garden. Yesterday afternoon diggers finally cleared snow on our street and cars can get out. Now, we are seeing temperatures drop. It was -12 deg C when my husband left for work early this morning. It is trying to snow now and the temperature has increased to -4.

My hands are getting cold as I type this, I think (like you perhaps) I’m now in need of a warm drink. I think the heating has gone off too, I’ll be putting that back on :-)

Before I make my coffee, I’ll head outside, with Wellies, coat and gloves on, to add apples to my obelisks and tree. Only three remain. I’ll also fill up any empty feeders and put out a buffet in both Hedgehog Manor and the igloo tunnel.

Much of the UK has had the disruption we have had (worse too I suspect). I can’t imagine how long the huge piles of snow from clearing roads and paths will take to go. Let’s hope this is not a repeat of last year’s long snow spell.

Wishing you a safe and warm weekend. Enjoy window gardenwatching if you can’t get out :-D


All photos shown above were taken in my garden during this past week.

44 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wow, Brambling as a yard bird. I have been wondering if you and yours were safe. Your snow storms have made the news in our country. Be safe and enjoy watching and caring for your birds.

lotusleaf said...

I had read about the unusually severe weather in U.K in the papers, but reading your account makes it somehow real. I liked your pictures of the birds, I hope they will survive the winter. Have a warm and comfortable weekend!

Gardeningbren said...

Oh I enjoyed this Shirl...and the great views as well as the photos of Bramblings and all the other birds. We are hearing daily, how the weather has caused such problems with travel in the UK. Here in Nova Scotia, we are still having good temps but any day now and that snow blanket will fall. Stay safe.

Eliza said...

You have such an active winter yard! Your birds species are not very familiar to me (I live in South Carolina) but I think I'll borrow that strung-apple idea! We probably have a lot of wildlife that would enjoy it, too.

Orchids and Nature said...

You've had a lot more snow up in your part of the world than we have in East Lancashire. I know you'll keep feeding the birds and your photos are great, brilliant about the Brambling,We're going down to our daughers near Stratford-upon-Avon for a few days but we've left all the bird food with our next door neighbour's so the'll carry on feeding while we're away.

Cher' Shots said...

WONDERFUL post. You took some fantastic pictures. We love watching the birds too. Happy to say we had a male cardinal drop by the other day ... hoping to see more of him.

Midmarsh John said...

We also had thunder and lightning accompany the snow on a couple of occasions. Sheet lightning at night on snow is really bright. I can't ever remember electrical storms with snow either.

We have not had quite as much snow just here but like yours the birds have been really hungry, especially now temperatures have fallen rapidly.

patientgardener said...

The starlings have arrived in my garden as well though in far fewer numbers. I enjoy watching them, they are quite funny. The most exciting bird for me so far is a Goldfinch.

Hope the snow goes for you soon

Michelle said...

Shirl I just love your blog and your passion and enthusiasm for all things that I too hold dear to my heart.
I have been out every morning at 7am clearing the snow from our bird table and topping up my feeders. I have been out 3 and 4 times a day putting out more crushed fat balls and peanuts. The feeding is frenzied!
I too have had my first visit from starlings since we moved in in July this year. I had a troubled great tit in the garden this evening, and I doubt very much he would make it through tonight. He struggled on my bird table and my last sighting of him as the light faded was him hopping off into the snow, he could barely fly, it was heart breaking to see this once lively animated little creature, unable to fend for himself.
It has been a sad day for me in the garden, and I'm dreading going out in the morning in case I find his little frozen body :-(

Michelle said...

Loved reading Orchids and Natures comment saying that his neighbour is looking after his feeders while he is away. My dad always looks after ours when we go on holiday, making a 25 mile round trip 3 times a week. It is really comforting and reassuring knowing there are like minded people doing their bit for wildlife too :-)

Patsi said...

Amazing all the snow you got.
Kids must have loved being out of school all week.
I'm still impressed with the vision of snow on trees and everything else in the garden.
Hoping we don't have a problem with Starlings this winter...so far our new feeders are keeping them out.

Rusty said...

Your essay is wonderful! I can't say the same for the weather you are having though. I have read quite a bit about it from people who are sticking it out in narrow boats on the various canals. (Some by choice - some not).

Thunder and lightning does happen frequently during heavy snow storms in our part of the world - but generally only last for a few minutes.

No lasting snow here yet, temps hovering just above and below 0C still. It will come in time. ATB!

Naturedigital said...

Beautiful, great photographs.
Love the text too.
have a great weekend Shirl.
Costas

shirl said...

Lisa, yes I agree with Wow!

I am thrilled to have Bramblings in my garden. The male seems a bit shyer than the female. Trying to get video (best I can anyway).

I am always surprised when our weather makes it to news outside the UK. Thanks, we got out of our town yesterday! The Supermarket we went to was the busiest I have seen it. One person described it as Christmas Eve x5. I would agree :-0

shirl said...

lotusleaf, yes, I guess this news of our weather has travelled simply because it is unusual for here. Other countries will have way worse I am certain and probably think why this is making the news.

Thanks, I was particularly pleased with the closer views of the Chaffinch and Blue Tit.

Yes, I hope the birds survive too. I have certainly done all I can to help them although, sadly not enough for one bird yesterday morning.

I was on the PC with the view from Hedgehog Manor up when it looked like a female Chaffinch was trying to find a quiet corner to die. It gave last final flaps and stretches of its wings and was rolling over. A Blackbird and Starling watched it too. I didn’t notice it manage to get up and move for one last time. However, when I went outside to check on it found it dead on the ground outside the entrance. I looked closely to see if it was diseased with Tricho but saw no signs. I guess it only just survived the cold night but had no reserves to keep it going :-(

shirl said...

Brenda, I am so glad as it was a bit of a marathon read I know. It’s a good record for us too :-)

I’m trying very hard to catch some video footage of the Bramblings but with no control of focus, light levels etc it is tricky. I’m hoping to catch them on a sunny bright day on my neighbour’s cherry tree. However, they don’t appear every time the Chaffinch groups come to the feeders and when they do there are so many birds it’s quite difficult to pick them out.

I can imagine some reactions from Canada and the US on seeing images of our weather. It will be absolutely nothing to the weather you experience over winter. Scotland has always had a certain amount of disruption to roads etc and (being honest) when we see the news of snow in England our first reaction is that that’s not much at all.

However, it’s because this is not normal here and we don’t necessarily have the services nor experience (as drivers) to deal with it that we get caught out. I lived further North as a child and remember every winter the buses struggling to get up to pick us to/from school. I remember our village being cut off from both sides many times.

I remember all the extras needed in the car when a journey was necessary. I have always told my daughters to take this and that just in case. Only after last week will they now believe me :-) I guess you are always prepared for winter in Canada and perhaps have winter cars or at the very least special winter tyres. I remember my Dad used to have chains that went over his.

Thanks, wishing you a safe winter when your snows come :-)

shirl said...

Hello Eliza, yes I don’t believe it has ever been as busy as it is right now. Yes, some bird species may be only similar to yours.

I enjoy seeing the US birds in Blogs. I love your Red Cardinals and Juncos. Oh… I’d love to hear how the strung apples go in your garden. Please pop by with a link if you post on it. Enjoy your wildlife :-D

shirl said...

David, yes our area always gets caught with snow. We are not in the North either. I understand there is a Geological fault near us and often the weather can be completely fine on the other side. That isn’t the case this time. My parents are just 16 miles away and in many winters they can have no snow when we have a lot.

Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed my photos. Although my white snow is less than white now (downside) with feeding the birds at the moment I couldn’t not put out extra food just now.

It’s good that your neighbours will continue feeding your garden birds. They say that birds will rely on the food sources they know of during cold spells like this.

I hope you’ve had a safe journey to your daughter, a nice time with her and I wish you a safe journey home again :-D

shirl said...

Hello Cher, thank-you! Ah… I love your Cardinals. They would be on my virtual wish list for my garden ;-) Enjoy yours :-D

shirl said...

John, it is amazing that there has been so much of this thundersnow. I can imagine that sheet lightning would have been quite a sight. Guessing you didn’t get any video footage of it – or did you?

Looking at your photos, your snowfall can’t be that much behind ours. This morning, we are trying to convince ourselves that the snow plies are shrinking a tiny bit. The sun is out at the moment and it is minus 1.

Yes, I’ve seen in your videos how hungry your birds are. I’m trying to catch some video footage of our Brambling visitors. Only being able to point and shoot makes it tricky.

shirl said...

Helen, I’ve heard that our resident Starlings get ones that migrate here join them. I guess that’s why you are seeing them now I have so many.

Ah… now I remember the first time we saw Goldfinches here! I couldn’t believe there were such delicate, tropical looking birds living here. I had never seen this bird before and looked up a book to see what it was. I had no idea then that it would be the first of many birds arrive in my garden that I had never seen before :-D

Thanks, I hope the snow goes soon too. We are trying to convince ourselves that the snow piles are shrinking. Hope too, that you don’t see snowfalls that cause disruption with you :-)

shirl said...

Hello Michelle, thanks for dropping by. It’s always lovely to hear from/e-meet others who enjoy the same interests :-D

Your garden definitely sounds like mine and many others at the moment. Sorry to hear about your troubled bird. I understand how sad it is watching a bird you know looks like it is dying. I can imagine you going out to look for it.

Sadly, yesterday morning, through the camera in Hedgehog Manor (opened up as a winter bird feeding station), I spotted a female Chaffinch doing the same. I watched as it walked to corners and then was unable to stand up, rolling over and flapping and stretching out its wings. I went out to see and found it had made its way outside but was lying dead on the ground :-(

Sadly, this morning, when I went past my daughter’s guinea pigs in our back utility room on my way out to feed the birds I discovered our poorly one has died over night. I’m stalling time here as a reply to my comments. I’ll need to go and lift her soon then clean out her cage. Dora will be missed, she has been a favourite for us all :-(

Yes, I agree with your comment about David (O&N) getting neighbours to feed his birds. Even in the summer when our guinea pigs are outside in their hutch my friend that fed them would also top up my bird feeders :-)

shirl said...

Patsi, yes we can get this much some winters but never this early. Our bad snows are more likely late January/February.

Well, scary that it is now, my youngest is no longer at school. She was off College though. But yes, school children in other households will have enjoyed this extra weeks hols :-)

Yes, in the beginning it’s nice to see the snow on the trees :-) Good luck with the Starlings. I found when they brought their young in during the summer it was easier to feed them, but away from the other feeders and that worked well :-)

shirl said...

Rusty, thank-you. Lol… essay is a good description :-)

Yes, this winter weather is getting a bit of a pest. I hadn’t heard about people in boats. They must be cold in there.

Yes, I searched YouTube for snowthunder and found videos from Canada and the US. Yes, I had heard in some areas in Scotland that it lasted on over an 8 hour period.

Thanks, hope you don’t get a harder year of snow than you usually get. Pre blog I had no idea that you had snow for so long in Canada. Stay safe when yours comes :-)

shirl said...

Costas, thank-you! I enjoyed taking and sorting the photos. Writing the story to accompany them is always enjoyable :-D

Thanks, we got out of our town yesterday! That was good. Sadly a household pet died this morning. I’ve a feeling we will be trying to get out a while again today.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend :-D

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Shirl! You are always so busy - and you always make me happy to visit! :-) I love your scenic photos, but I Really love seeing the birds you enjoy. They are completely different from what I see in my yard!! Happy December. Hope you're doing well.

Michelle said...

Aw sorry to hear about your chaffinch Shirl, my husband tells me to console myself with just how many birds I have helped to save through this cold snap, even though it's still sad.

I found myself in the brown waste bin this morning in -14 temperatures, digging out some apples that I had thrown in from our neighbours tree a couple of weeks ago. I chopped them up with blue hands and added them to my morning feed.

Even the Robins are getting friendly towards each other as they all struggle to feed, I've counted up to 5 at a time at various points in the garden, each waiting to take their turn on the table!

We too have a couple of guineas Shirl and I'm terribly sorry to hear of your loss. We have two males, Bryn and Smiffy, who live indoors with us. They are a huge part of our life and bring us a lot of fun and laughter. They are completely oblivious to the snow and ice and spend most of their days snoozing while all hell is breaking loose in the garden :-)

The forecast said we are going to experience some warmer temperatures towards the weekend, I just hope our feathered friends can hang on a couple more days!

RIP Dora

Michelle said...

PS - as expected I found our little tit buried in the snow on Saturday morning, I'm sure there is a dead blackbird further down the garden too, I just haven't got the heart to have a look and confirm it just yet :-(

Anna said...

Oh Shirl, the snow in our neck of the woods pales into comparison next to yours! We have been suffering though for the last couple of days from minus temperatures and fog. I have not ventured out since Friday now except to feed the birds. Hope that you are managing to keep warm and snug. Take care.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

You did get your share of snow. You got so many great bird photos and I must ask how you do it. They always fly away at first sight of me. And if I shoot them from inside, my birds are barely recognizable. I enjoyed the story too.

The Wessex Reiver said...

Fabulous nighttime photos shirl, in fact fabulous photos as ever. You really have had a snowfall. Wonderful to see but time for a thaw I think. Interestingly in the very cold weather in somerset the birds were almost absent, now with temperatures above freezing they're back.

ShySongbird said...

What a great post Shirl, I loved it! I have tried to comment on it earlier in the week three times so far!! Each time I have been interrupted :(

Well done on the Bramblings, I had them visit regularly two or three Winters ago but none at all since.

I am so impressed with your igloo feeder, how very ingenious! I would never have thought of that. I can imagine that if you have any neighbours overlooking your garden though that when you were building it they may have said 'she has finally lost it, she is out in the garden building snow castles!' ;)

All your photos are lovely, you sure have had some snow there, much more than we have. The photo with the artificial lighting really did look like a magical Winter wonderland.

So sorry to read of the Guinea Pig's death and also the poor little Chaffinch. It is so difficult for the birds to survive in these severe conditions. We really didn't have much snow at all but some of my blogland friends in Kent had 18 inches!

Have a good weekend Shirl and stay safe and warm :)

The Early Birder said...

Hi Shirl. Interesting update from your end of the country. Fortunately most of our snow has disappeared but I guess it won't be the last we see before winter is out!
Always interested to learn what new visitors turn up when the weather closes in .. nice to see the Bramblings. Chaffinch is a rarity here but only this last week we had very brief visits from both a male and a female.
Stay safe .... FAB.

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you for visiting Our Little Corner Of Paradise this year, Shirl :)

Just popped by during the busy run up to Christmas to wish you all the best, and happy gardening in 2011…:)

Your blog continues to go from strength to strength ...well done to you ...WG :)

caroline said...

wow at the first picture mum! and these picture have made me realise how MUCH snow we have at home! see you very soon :) xxx

shirl said...

Hello Caroline! A lovely surprise to discover your comment just now :-))))))

Yep, our snow has never left us since you left. Hopefully there will be enough breaks in the weather so no delays for you travelling home. We’re all looking forward to seeing you xoxo

shirl said...

Hi Shady, thank-you! It’s nice to share the photos of our landscapes and the birds in our gardens. I’ve just been browsing through your blog. I see you’ve been busy too and thoroughly enjoying December activities :-)

Thanks, I’m feeling a bit better now than I have been since this posting. I hope you keep well over the holiday season :-D

shirl said...

Hi Michelle, thanks. I agree with your husband there. It is always sad to see though.

I can imagine quite easily your search for good food for the birds. Well done you! Now 5 robins at the same time really does tell a tale.

Nice to hear of someone else enjoying keeping guinea pigs. Yes, our other family (Mum & 2 girls) are indoors over the winter and like yours completely oblivious to what’s going on out the window. Thanks for mentioning Dora, she was our favourite :-)

Aw… sorry to hear about birds not surviving in the cold of your area. Hopefully you got a little break for them to build up reserves.

Hoping you are surviving any snow in your area just now and are managing to get out and about. Best wishes to you all :-D

shirl said...

Oh Anna, I’m taking a guess that your area has caught up with us now. Stay safe and warm :-)

Our snow has never left us although we eventually got to see our roads and parts of our pavements for a time. We’re all white again today as I expect you will be too.

I also expect you have plenty of bird food. I eventually ran out of sunflower hearts before I was able to get more. Our RSPB shop has run out now too so its mixes I picked up earlier this week. Have plenty now but the sunflower hearts are the best all-rounder for energy for the majority of the birds that visit us.

Thanks, take care too :-)

shirl said...

Hi gardenwalk/talk, yes although I should say that this is a bit early for us to have had so much snow - hence the road chaos seen on TV.

Ah… I take my photos through a large window. My garden isn’t huge and the feeders are all visible from this window. I just have to keep still. Usually I use my tripod as I tend to use a zoom lens for the shots through my window.

Thanks for stopping by. I do enjoy both the sharing of photos and the telling of stories :-D

All the best :-)

shirl said...

Hi Andrew, thanks I loved the colour on that one too. Thank-you, I enjoy selecting photos to use :-)

Yes, this snow is still with us. My trips out to shops have been limited and Christmas shopping with it too... I see panic ahead :-o

Yes, definitely time for a thaw… we have a frozen pipe again (the same one). I hope the snow hasn’t been too bad with you and you have managed to get out and about.

That is an interesting comparison. My feeders are a place of frantic activity when it’s cold. It’s also interesting to see the birds retreat to the warmth of my neighbour’s overlooking cherry tree around lunchtime on a sunny day before the feeding frenzy before roosting begins.

shirl said...

Hi Jan, I can completely understand re comments :-)

Thanks, I was thrilled to see the Bramblings. After being so generous to all the birds looking for food, after 2 weeks my 12.75 kg bag of sunflower hearts ran out. My offerings for a while were limited and I stopped seeing the Bramblings.

I’m on seed mixes for now and the Bramblings are back again. I’m really hoping they will stay around until after Christmas as a replacement video camera could be on the way and I would love to capture the Brambling on film :-D

Thanks, the igloo feeder worked well as a quick temp solution that lasted a while. The snow piles have reduced a little now and the roof is off but with snowfall again today an umbrella through the tree branches is offering a more open solution that the smaller birds will appreciate.

Thanks, like you, I do enjoy taking and sharing photos especially with different lighting.

Thanks, we were quite sad to lose Dora. She was the first one my daughter handled at the Pet shop and will always be the favourite. She had a lovely manner.

Yes, deep snowfall doesn’t help the birds find food at all. We had a bit over 18 inches here and the biggest problem with that is finding a place to safely pile this snow when you clear away paths, driveways and roads. Our pavements have been treacherous and some still are.

It’s snowing again today and our paths are covered once more. Have seen in the News that areas in England and Wales have been hit hard just now. Hope things are okay with you. If you do have to go out, stay safe :-)

shirl said...

Hi Frank, thanks for stopping by. So sorry to hear of your loss. I hope the snow has not caused problems with arrangements for your goodbyes.

Yes, the only advantage of winter weather is getting to see new visitors to the garden. I was thrilled to see the Brambling. Now, I’m waiting to see if a female Blackcap passes through again as it has in the past two winters.

Good for you to get a chance to see Chaffinches. As I’m sure you’ll know, the Chaffinch is one of the top visiting garden birds here in Scotland. The Bramblings most likely followed them to my garden.

Sending my best wishes to you and your family.

shirl said...

Hello Wildlife Gardener, you are most welcome. Although, I haven’t managed to visit as much this year as I would have liked :-)

Thanks for all your good wishes and I’d like to wish you also all the best for the coming, wildlife gardening year. I hope you are well and would like to wish you wonderful, happy family moments over Christmas :-D