Another inch of snow last night didn’t stop me getting Emma into Swansea center for work today, though it did leave me with the morning to kill before it was time to head home. I spent a couple of hours walking the streets around the Kingsway in the hope that I would bump into the small group of Waxwings that have been seen there on a couple of occasions. Sadly I was out of luck but a flock of Long Tailed Tits was a nice surprise. Needing to move the car before Tesco slapped a fine on it I headed over to the sea front and Singleton Park. The view along the beach was stunning although I still find something inherently wrong about being on a beach covered in snow.
Also on the sands were a couple of Rooks trying to find something to eat, while out on the exposed mud several Oystercatchers and Curlew could be seen. A couple of Dunlin looked to be in reach of a photograph but some very soft mud and my rapidly disappearing feet put paid to that idea.
Singleton Park was white over with the snow just starting to drop from the tree branches in the warming sun. I walked from top to bottom and saw a couple of Redwing, numerous Song Thrushes and Blackbirds as well as six Nuthatch, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and two Jays. About midway up the park there is a small pond that as you can probably imagine is completely frozen over at the moment. Here I saw the sad sight of a Grey Heron resolutely staking out its territory but with little hope of catching anything to eat. I hope for its sake that it has the sense to move on as that water is likely to be out of action for some time.
Heading through the ornamental gardens I stopped to take a photograph and was immediately surrounded by birds. A Great Tit flew almost directly at my head before landing on a branch a few inches away, shortly followed by a couple of Blue Tits. A Robin was the next to arrive but with the added trick of calling repeatedly and staring straight at me. They were all quickly scared off by the four or five Blackbirds that appeared out of no where and got similarly close. I presume these birds are used to being fed and have become quite well versed in knowing how to get a quick meal. Unfortunately for them I was not carrying anything edible and had to leave with their disapproving stares burning a hole in my back. During this episode I noticed that one of the Blackbirds around me was partially leucistic. Although a common occurrence in this species I have never seen anything more extreme than a couple of white wing feathers before so this individual was quite unusual.
While trying to encourage the above into the sunshine for some better light I heard a sharp, loud call, closely followed by a flash of green. I searched the trees above and located a Ring Necked Parakeet of all things. If I was in the south east then this wouldn’t have been at all unusual but in Wales? I imagine it is most likely to be an escapee but then they all are to some extent.
I’ll leave you with an image of one of the many Squirrels in the park that was following me around and begging at any opportunity it got. Cute I’m sure you’ll agree.