Swansea gets its snow and I get a Yellowhammer

Friday, December 17, 2010 Adam Tilt 0 Comments


Signing off yesterdays post with the words "let's hope for some snow"certainly seemed to do the trick as this morning I woke to find a good five to six inches of the stuff. After missing out almost completely on all the fun a couple of weeks ago it seems that Swansea has finally gotten its turn in the spotlight with the usual traffic chaos and school closures. To be fair conditions were atrocious with work closed and the roads virtually impassable for much of the morning. Despite the BBC News declaring this "the day the snow changed everything" (nothing like a bit of tabloid reporting huh?), the main change for me was an extra day to go exploring and some stunning scenery to look at.

23752 - Pontlliw in the snow
23750 - Pontarddulais in the snow

I took the opportunity to walk the three miles from Pontarddulais to Penllergaer and back to see what was about. Song Thrushes and Starlings seemed to be the order of the day with plenty of both along the whole route. A flock of six Jays was quite unusual over Pontlliw, but not as strange as the Woodcock that Emma saw earlier in the morning. During her abortive attempt to get to work she got stuck in the snow at which point the Woodcock flew in and landed on the road in front of her. It sat there quite happily for a good ten minutes or so before she was able to turn the car around and head back home. Speaking of home the feeders have been absolutely packed with birds throughout the day. The species seen included Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Collared Dove, Jackdaw, Starling, a Common Snipe flying over and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers. A Red Kite was also in the area. The pick of the day though goes to the Yellowhammer that almost made me drop my breakfast I was so surprised to see it. Yellowhammers are pretty rare around here at the best of times and I never expected to get one in the garden. I managed a single record shot just before another blizzard closed in.

23746 - Yellowhammer, Pontarddulais

As has been the trend on here recently, I couldn't leave without another couple of pictures of the local Starlings. Normally they are very chirpy but today they almost seemed to be whining. I'm guessing that they aren't the biggest fans of snow!

23753 - Starling, Pontlliw
23745 - Starling, Pontarddulais

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