As I’m writing this I can hear the all too familiar sound of rain bouncing off the windows. The snow of last week has now departed in the face of Atlantic weather systems meaning that for the next few days it looks like we are back to warm but damp conditions. Fortunately I still have a couple of posts to share involving the snow so we can at least pretend that it’s still here.
I mentioned in my last post that the walk around our local patch had delivered a distinct lack of thrushes. The reason for this was pretty obvious in that snow covered hillsides wouldn’t have exactly been their destination of choice when searching for food. A far more likely place to find them would be the woodland of Coed Bach Park where I guessed the trees would have provided some shelter to the ground below.
Sure enough their leafless limbs had managed to prevent snow falling in large areas and it didn’t take more than a couple of seconds to spot our first Redwing flying through. Another was turning over leaves nearby with at least twenty more scattered amongst the huge number of Blackbirds. Sadly it was so dark that I didn’t even attempt a photo but seeing them was reward enough. At this point I should probably admit that until very recently I hadn’t realised that the park was in fact much bigger than I’d originally thought. With the creation of better paths a whole new area has been opened up and this seemed like an ideal opportunity to explore it. Again we found yet more Redwings along with a couple of passing Mistle Thrushes and a superb Treecreeper. The air was also filled with the sounds of at least two calling Buzzards, one of which we found a short while later perched on a shed roof.
The light really was failing at this point but there was still time to nip down to the river and see if anything had been brought in by the cold weather. A flushed Snipe put the fear of God into us as it erupted from the reeds, but it was out on the marshy fields where my breath was truly taken away. A mixed flock of several hundred Starlings, Fieldfares and Redwings were swarming over the land whilst a couple of Canada Geese looked on (yes I know but they are actually quite scarce here). A large flock of Fieldfares is something that I have never quite managed to connect with before as usually we see just the occasional one or two. Therefore this represented something of a red letter day and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them go about their business.
As we headed for home a pair of Collared Doves reminded us that Spring really is just around the corner. A frozen and snow covered Tesco car park may not be everyone’s choice of location for an intimate moment, but for them it obviously did the job.