Friday, 8 January 2010
The cold snap continues
The freezing weather seems to have been with us for weeks now, although I'm sure it can't be that long. The snow from a few days ago still lies on the ground. Yesterday, just for a couple of hours around midday it started to thaw but then the temperatures dropped again and the icy conditions were made worse.
Outside water pipes and drinkers are frozen solid, the poor geese have been without their pond for several days. The extra water buckets provided just aren't the same. Tomorrow I will try to find a way of de icing their ponds without cracking the plastic, so for a short while at least they can swim.
The frozen ground has made food scarce and hard to come by for the wildlife. The bird numbers and variety on the feeders are increasing daily. Lapwings have arrived in the fields in front of the house, for the first time in many years. More come each day. They have been joined by a large flock of Fieldfares. Redwings are also about. All truly cold weather birds. There have been sightings locally of Golden Plovers but as yet I haven't been lucky enough to see them. The little Egret works the stream at the bottom of the field and yesterday a Tawny Owl could be heard calling during daylight hours.
Other animals are becoming bolder as hunger draws them out to hunt for food. Although often seen out a little later in the year during the day, the foxes are now a regular sight crossing the fields, their coats standing out noticeably against the white snow. A small field mouse can be seen scuttling out from the safety of the hedge to gather fallen seeds from the bird table.
The forecast for the next few days is for the freezing temperatures to continue and further heavy snowfall. Compared to the most of the country we have had it 'easy'.